HealthDay News — In a study published in The Lancet, early mobilization have shown significant benefits in surgical intensive care unit (SICU) patients.

Matthias Eikermann, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues looked at 104 surgical ICU patients assigned to early mobilization, and 96 who received standard care after surgery.

The researchers found that patients who were encouraged to move around sooner than usual were discharged from the ICU and the hospital earlier than others. Setting daily goals for each patient is a key element of the new protocol. With this program, patients not only left the hospital sooner, they needed less help when they were discharged.

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“While our study did not measure hospital costs, our data demonstrating improvement in patient outcomes, along with reduced hospital and ICU length of stay, suggest that implementing this program should improve the value of care,” Eikermann said in a university news release. 

Massachusetts General and some of the other hospitals participating in the study have begun to implement the early mobilization program, he added.


Schaller SJ, et al. “Early, Goal-Directed Mobilisation In The Surgical Intensive Care Unit: A Randomised Controlled Trial”. The Lancet. 388(10052): 1377-1388. 2016 October 1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31637-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Iwashyna TJ and Hodgson CL. “Early Mobilisation In ICU Is Far More Than Just Exercise”. The Lancet 388(10052): 1351-1352. 2016 October 1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31745-7. [Epub ahead of print]

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