Many children in intensive care may not be getting rehabilitation therapy, study shows

June 11, 2020

Adult patients in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) are often given rehabilitation therapy and urged to keep mobile from an early point in their hospital stays. This has been shown to improve muscle strength, physical functioning and cognitive health, along with reducing the risk of pressure ulcers ("bed sores"), blood clots and other short-term threats. However, the prevalence or lack of rehabilitation practices for critically ill children in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) across the nation has been not been solidly researched.

Now, a multicenter study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that 65% of the PICU patients examined did not get physical or occupational therapy, or adequate opportunities to be mobile, while hospitalized during the study period. Female patients and those with normal physical function prior to illness were the most likely to not receive this important care. The study team also found that 19% of critically ill PICU patients were completely immobile during the same time span.

The researchers reported their findings in the May 2020 issue of the journal

In the study, known as PARK-PICU (for "Prevalence of Acute Rehab for Kids in the PICU"), researchers gathered data on critically ill children in 82 PICUs in 65 hospitals across the United States. This represents one-third of all PICU beds in the country. There were 1,769 patient days in the PICUs reviewed, with the researchers also evaluating perceived barriers and potential safety events for patient mobility.

"Despite the evidence that early rehabilitative therapy and mobility provide benefits to adults in ICUs, and despite the fact that it is known to be safe and reliable for children, our findings reveal that patients in PICUs are not getting the rehabilitative care they need," says

Kudchadkar and her colleagues also found that two-thirds of all children admitted to the PICU for three days or longer are under age 2.

"Pediatric survivors of critical illness commonly experience long-term physical, cognitive and psychological problems, and these issues are compounded by the fact that while children are in the PICU, they are undergoing intensive physical and mental development," she says.

Based on their study findings, the researchers urge hospitals to "systematically design and evaluate PICU rehabilitation interventions for a vulnerable patient population.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Related Occupational Therapy Articles from Brightsurf:

Brain effects of repetitive low-level occupational blast exposure
Military and law enforcement personnel with extensive occupational blast exposure had statistically significant differences in brain imaging measures compared to nonexposed control personnel

'Safely returning America to work' -- Occupational medicine specialists offer expertise
As the COVID 19 pandemic continues, business leaders face critical decisions on how to safely reopen and resume operations.

Silicosis: Ominous resurgence of an occupational lung condition reported
A new study appearing in the journal CHEST®, published by Elsevier, documents an increased incidence of silicosis, which progressed rapidly to massive pulmonary fibrosis in a significant proportion of patients who had previously worked artificial stone (AS), also called artificial quartz agglomerate or conglomerate, a popular new countertop material, despite cessation of exposure after diagnosis.

Magnetic guidance improves stem cells' ability to treat occupational lung disease
Results of a study released in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM) may point the way to a cure for a serious lung disease called silicosis that affects millions of workers worldwide.

Dual therapy reduces risk for bleeding better than triple therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation
Use of dual therapy with a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) plus P2Y12 inhibitor was associated with reduced risk for major bleeding compared with triple therapy with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) plus aspirin and P2Y12 inhibitor for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Light therapy for immune cells helps with side effects of cancer therapy
A frequent side effect of cancer immunotherapies can probably be stopped by light activation of immune cells, as researchers at the Medical Center -- University of Freiburg have shown.

Occupational hazards account for more than one in ten people with range of lung diseases
More than 1 in 10 people with a range of non-cancerous lung diseases may be sick as a result of inhaling vapors, gas, dust or fumes at work, according to a joint American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society statement published in the ATS's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

BU: Central American kidney disease epidemic linked to occupational heat exposure
For two decades, Nicaragua and El Salvador have seen increasing mortality from an unusual form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), also called Mesoamerican Nephropathy (MeN).

Vitamin D intake and obesity in occupational asthma patients and need for supplementation
The research was conducted to assess the vitamin D intake in occupational asthma patients and the relation with body mass index, comorbidities related to vitamin D deficit, lung function and quality of life.

Occupational health study links air pollution and cancer
University of Stirling experts have discovered new evidence of the link between air pollution and cancer as part of a new occupational health study.

Read More: Occupational Therapy News and Occupational Therapy Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to