Long-term survival of mechanically ventilated patients has contributed to the unintended consequence of increased weakness and decreased muscle strength. Previous authors have determined that, after 1 week of bed rest, muscle strength decreases by as much as 20%, with an additional 20% decrease in strength each successive week.1 Muscle weakness contributes to difficulty in weaning from mechanical ventilation and increased length of hospital stay.

Increasing mobility in intensive care unit patients, particularly those on mechanical ventilation, requires a team effort.

Consider the following:

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