Intensive Physical Therapy
Intensive physical therapy is very much required for patients who are recovering from the ICU. A study on this particular topic proves that the skills of a physical therapist are essential for the fast recovery of ICU patients. Depending on the medical history and status of a patient, physical therapy can start as soon as an ICU patient regains consciousness.
Physical therapists work with ICU patients and deal with patients who breathe with or without a ventilator, with breathing exercises that use respiratory muscles, as well as an array of motion exercises to do either sitting up in bed or in a chair. Studies show that patients who receive physical therapy initially their number of days in the ICU and total number of hospital days spent in the hospital is dramatically reduced.
The duration of stay for a group of respiratory-failure patients who receive early mobilization and physical therapy within 48 hours of the insertion of a breathing tube can be reduced by an average of 3 days when compared with the stay for patients who did not receive the therapy. The therapy reduces the length of stay included a reduction of time in the ICU of more than a day. Initial therapy is also known as passive range of motion.
The therapy is provided by nursing assistants, with their training designed and designed by physical therapists. The nursing assistants flex the joints of the patients’ upper and lower limbs 3 times a day, throughout the week. As patients progress in their condition, they receive more advanced physical therapy from a physical therapist.
The therapy is very safe, and there is no addition to hospital costs because the salaries of the employees who provided range of motion and physical therapy are offset by reduced lengths of stay in the hospital. In addition to shorter hospital stays, the protocol patients also progress more quickly to active physical therapy and were out of bed earlier, and experienced no adverse changes during an ICU therapy session.
Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage patients of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit them to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each one of them and develop a plan of care using treatment methods to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.
Physical therapists also work with individuals to avoid the loss of mobility by developing fitness oriented programs for a more better and active lifestyle. Immobility and the consequent loss of physical conditioning are common problems for patients with respiratory failure, which means they cannot breathe without the assistance of a ventilator.
However, little data exist on whether early mobility therapy for ICU patients is linked with improved outcomes or cost benefits. Studies confirm that it is safe to administer early mobility to ICU patients for better and improved results. Patients feel better and recover quickly and become more active than before.