Cycling In-Bed Exercise In ICU Is Beneficial To Patients

First Posted: Dec 30, 2016 03:40 AM EST

Patients who are critically ill or require mechanical ventilated life support machines are kept in the Intensive Care Units (ICU), under the constant monitoring of doctors and other healthcare providers. According to a recent research study, doing the cycling in-bed exercise by such patients may help them recover from the muscle weakness and numbness associated with the lack of physical activity.

Experts suggest that longer durations of ICU stay of critically ill patients may lead to the occurrence of secondary complications, such as the muscular atrophy. According to the results obtained from a recently conducted research study done by the researchers at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, the patients who successfully did the cycling in-bed exercise during their stay in the ICU were able to regain their normal muscle activities in a very short span of time, according to Times of India.

The project was named "TryCycle" and was conducted on 33 adult patients admitted to the ICU at St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton. The patients during their stay in the ICU started doing 30 minutes of supine cycling in bed for at least six days a week, with the help of a motorized stationary bicycle fixed to the ICU bed, The Pioneer reported.

Michelle Kho, assistant professor at McMaster University, said, "People may think that ICU patients are too sick for physical activity" but the study proved that "if patients start in-bed cycling two weeks into their ICU stay, they will walk farther at hospital discharge."

The results obtained indicate that doing the exercise in the first four days by patients who had a stable blood flow rates is safe and effective. The problems associated with restricted physical movement such as muscle weakness and difficulty in walking after discharge from the ICU are common in patients undergoing treatment in the ICU. In such conditions, doing a simple in-bed exercise can be highly beneficial for the patients.

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