About 11% of patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for more than one day lose muscle mass and some physical functions due to immobility. These patients often complain of fatigue and poor physical function after leaving the ICU. To reverse this trend or limit its occurrence, health experts are now turning to Physical Therapy (PT) as a possible intervention.
Physical Therapy in the ICU
Evidences have shown that physical therapy, when administered by professionals like physiotherapists, nurses, and physicians, helps ICU patients improve their physical functioning. Furthermore, administering physical training during ICU admission reduces the days on Vent, improves patients’ independence, lessens the time they stay in the ICU, and encourages early mobility.
Future outlook for Physical Therapy
There is enough evidence to show that PT aids the recovery of critically ill patients. However, experts say more studies may be needed to help health workers have more information on when to start PT, the frequency, and the types of PT to be administered to their ICU patients.