Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Get moving after a stroke?

Photo from U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Hanging around in a hospital bed is seldom good for you. Everybody knows that - and now we've got a little evidence for stroke patients.

Mine affected my speech, not so much my physical abilities. I was a little unsteady for a while and, in my way of thinking, lost a little of my fine motor skills. But so many people have more profound physical issues after a stroke.

And part of the answer, it seems is that people with brain injuries heal faster if they get up and get moving:
But some doctors, including Manno, suspected patients with brain injuries could benefit from getting out of bed sooner. They just didn't have any proof.
Although plenty of research had been done on early mobilization of patients with other injuries, Klein discovered that no one had actually studied whether it was safe or beneficial for patients with brain injuries caused by seizures, stroke or head trauma to start rehabilitation right away. So she designed a study of her own.
Over the course of a year, Klein tracked more than 600 patients with brain injury, getting more than half of them up and out of bed as early as the first day they were admitted to the ICU. What she found was that getting up and moving had clear benefits. Patients who started their rehabilitation earlier spent less time in the ICU and less time in the hospital. "They have less pressure ulcers, less infections and spend less time on the ventilator if they need ventilator therapy," says Klein. And most say they feel a lot better.

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