Heart failure is the single most common cause of hospitalization in people age 65 years and older. This chronic disease is characterized by acute decompensation that often requires hemodynamic monitoring with a pulmonary artery catheter (PAC). Patient care with a PAC usually requires bed rest, yet early mobility can shorten stays in the intensive care unit and improve physical functioning.

Mattioli et al studied the physiological and emotional impact of ambulation on adult patients with a PAC in the cardiac intensive care unit. They found the following:

The authors state that presence of a PAC should not preclude walking in patients with heart failure whose condition is stable. Protocols should include careful measurement and documentation of patients’ response.

See Article, pp 101-108

Family presence during resuscitation (also called family-witnessed resuscitation [FWR]) has many benefits for patients and families and is supported by national health care organizations such as the...

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