What is early patient mobilization? Why is early mobilization important?
Early mobilization means to mobilize the patients out of bed within the first hours of their intensive care stay.4 Early mobilization is important for patients, especially in the ICU, because it delivers many benefits3 for them and ICU staff as well:
- Reduced length of hospital and ICU stay
- Lesser mortality rates during hospitalization
- Better quality of life outcomes5
- Patient´s functional mobility at hospital discharge6
Barriers to early mobilization in the ICU include difficulties in handling traditional chest drains. Moreover, even if the patient can be mobilized with a chest drain, this requires disconnection of suction during mobilization and reattachment afterwards. This can lead to an infection risk because of handling mistakes.7
The following infographic summarizes the negative consequences of bed rest in the hospital and the effect of early mobilization on a patient’s recovery time.