ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
CAREGIVING
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
EYE CARE, VISION
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Add your Article

Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Interrupting the sedation of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) to engage them in brief physical therapy may lead to better outcomes, a new study suggests.

As noted by researchers writing in the May 13 online edition of The Lancet, weakness and neuropsychiatric disease are often complications of the immobilization caused by long-term sedation in the ICU.

The new randomized, controlled trial involved 104 patients who were on mechanical ventilators for less than 72 hours but were expected to continue on ventilation for another 24 hours. A team led by Dr. John Kress of the University of Chicago assigned 49 of the patients to daily interruption of sedation and early exercise and mobilization, while the other 55 patients received standard care.

The team then tracked patients after discharge for signs of "independent functional status" -- the ability to walk unaided and carry out six tasks of daily living.

According to the Chicago researchers, 59 percent of those who got the early exercise achieved that functional milestone over four weeks of follow-up, compared to 35 percent in the standard care group. Early physical therapy also cut the rate of delirium episodes in half and reduced the number of days in which patients required a ventilator.

"A strategy for whole-body rehabilitation -- consisting of interruption of sedation and physical and occupational therapy in the earliest days of critical illness -- was safe and well-tolerated, and resulted in better functional outcomes at hospital discharge, a shorter duration of delirium, and more ventilator-free days compared with standard care," the researchers wrote.

Writing in an accompanying commentary, Dr. Stephan M. Jakob and Dr. Jukka Takala, of University Hospital, Switzerland, noted that "exercise should have a central role in the treatment of critically ill patients... Although physiotherapy is commonly administered to patients in intensive care during recovery from critical illness in the USA, the frequency and type of physiotherapy greatly varies between the type of hospital and clinical scenarios."

More information

There's more on care in the ICU at the Society of Critical Care Medicine.



-- E.J. Mundell



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, May 13, 2009

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

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