Passive exercise delivered in the first 24 hours of critical illness might be appropriate for patients who cannot tolerate more active mobility interventions. However, more evidence is needed. Amidei and colleagues investigated the safety and acute physiological effects of a single, continuous passive motion (CPM) intervention in 30 adults using mechanical ventilation. They found the following:

  • CPM was well tolerated and heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation were stable throughout the intervention.

  • In 5 subjects with ICP monitoring, CPM did not increase ICP measures.

  • Pain was significantly reduced during and after CPM.

  • Interleukin 6 a proinflammatory cytokine previously correlated with illness severity was significantly reduced after CPM.

  • Evidence supports that safe, nurse-directed interventions aimed at simulating normal activities of daily living in the ICU setting are important in improving patient comfort, recovery and long term outcomes beyond the ICU.

—Alison J. Montpetit,...

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