ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
CANCER
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
CAREGIVING
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Free Range
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
Run for Your Life
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Tune Up Your Health With Music
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
The Unmedicated Mind
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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