Montefiore Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Early Mobilization Program
Once stable, patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) need to be assessed and started on an early mobility program to prevent a number of long-lasting health problems, including frozen joints, muscle wasting and weakness.
With this understanding in mind, in July 2013 we launched an Early Mobility Program at our Moses Campus Intensive Care Unit.
Our program is designed to restore patients’ strength and accelerate recovery following a stay in the ICU. We provide closely-monitored therapies centered on:
- A personalized approach that actively motivates patients to stay positive and engaged in their recovery.
- Daily team meetings to determine the appropriate strategy and schedule for each patient.
- Real-time physiological feedback made possible by constant, diligent monitoring by the ICU team.
- Active collaboration with family members so that they can motivate their loved ones to engage in exercise when possible.
- Access to special equipment that precisely measures patient effort and mobility and stimulates passive range of motion.
Our team of physiatrists, physical therapists and occupational therapists work closely with critical care physicians, ICU nurses, respiratory therapists and ICU staff assistants to help patients exercise and move as soon as possible—often within 24 hours of admission to the unit. Safe, state of the art exercise machines, along with established exercises designed to preserve upper extremity strength are used to help patients ease back into movement.
As a result, in the first three months of our program's implementation:
- More than 90% of ICU patients were mobilized.
- Patients spent an average of one day less on the ventilator.
- Any adverse events were mild and minimal.