Title: Physiotherapy in the intensive care unit
Authors: Gosselink, Rik
Clerckx, Beatrix
Robbeets, Christophe
Vanhullebusch, Tine
Vanpee, Goele
Segers, Johan
Issue Date: Apr-2011
Series Title: Netherlands Journal of Critical Care vol:15 issue:2 pages:66-75
Abstract: Physiotherapists are involved in the management of patients with critical illness. Physiotherapy assessment is focused
on physical deconditioning and related problems (muscle weakness, joint stiffness, impaired functional exercise capacity, physical
inactivity) and respiratory conditions (retained airway secretions, atelectasis and respiratory muscle weakness) to identify targets for
physiotherapy. Evidence-based targets for physiotherapy are deconditioning, impaired airway clearance, atelectasis, (re-)intubation
avoidance and weaning failure. Early physical activity and mobilisation are essential in the prevention, attenuation or reversion of physical
deconditioning related to critical illness. A variety of modalities for exercise training and early mobility are evidence-based and must be
implemented depending on the stage of critical illness, co-morbid conditions and cooperation of the patient. The physiotherapist should
be responsible for implementing mobilization plans and exercise prescription and make recommendations for progression of these
plans, jointly with medical and nursing staff.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: RE
Appears in Collections:Research Group for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Rehabilitation
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences - miscellaneous

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