UPMC Presbyterian’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)
added an unusual technique for taking care of sedated and seriously ill patients:
a passive, range-of-motion bicycle that improves patient mobility.
practice is commonly used for physical therapy and rehabilitation but has been
brought to the ICU thanks to a grant from the Beckwith Institute
. The MICU last August purchased two passive, range-of-motion
bicycles that have helped patients maintain function and mobility in the
“Even after the first few days in the intensive care unit, the muscles can
decondition. The bicycle can help maintain some muscle tone and help patients get back up and moving, hopefully
leading to a shorter stay in the ICU,” said Sue Svec, R.N., a clinician who
helped start the mobility program.
Svec and her colleagues collected data between May and
2012 to evaluate whether
the equipment was appropriate for their patients. They were able to implement a
passive, range-of-motion bicycle program on mechanically ventilated patients in
the ICU. Traditionally, this type of
therapy would not begin for about five days. Many patients were able to use the
bike within 24 hours, while they were still sedated.
UPMC Presbyterian’s MICU is still using the bikes to help
patients, with the goal of moving them toward
the next step in their care and recovery.