ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors
Should the FDA Regulate Tobacco?
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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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