Muscle weakness associated with longer ICU stays: Scientists
Last Updated: Friday, October 30, 2009, 00:00

Washington: Nearly half of the patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) for a longer period develop some form of muscle weakness, scientists have claimed.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said the muscle wasting and weakness is associated with extended ICU stays and nearly half of the patients suffer
from some kind of muscle weakness.

The whole idea of bed rest as being something beneficial during stay in ICUs is a "classic paradox" and now it has been recognised that muscle weakness is significantly worsened by being immobilised in ICU, said Robert Stevens who led the research.

"Patients who develop muscle weakness while they`re critically ill do much worse," he said, adding "they have higher mortality if their stay in the ICU is prolonged".
Stevens says new research is promoting reduced levels of sedation and early mobilisation and exercise among those patients.

He said, "Some of these patients in the long run remain weak and are unable to resume physical activities as before".

Other hospital units, including those that treat patients coming out of surgery, have adopted the practice of getting patients up and moving again as soon as possible, journal Critical Care Medicine said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 30, 2009, 00:00

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