Physical Therapy In ICU Can Reduce Hospital Stays

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Intensive Care Unit

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The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) cites the results of the first study to show the effectiveness of early physical therapy for patients in a medical intensive care unit (ICU). The study, conducted by Peter Morris, M.D., associate professor in the Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Immunologic Diseases at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, was presented at the October 23 meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Chicago.

"This non-randomized study, the first of its kind on this particular topic, proves that the skills of a physical therapist are essential to the expedient recovery of ICU patients," said Mary Pat C. Jobes, PT, MA, president of APTA's Acute Care Section and manager of physical therapy at Haywood Park Community Hospital in Brownsville, Tennessee.

Depending on the medical history and status of a patient, physical therapy can begin as soon as an ICU patient regains consciousness, notes Ethel Frese, PT, DPT, CCS, president of APTA's Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section and an associate professor at St Louis University's Department of

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