The advice applies to all ICU patients, even those on life support.
On the sidelines of the 9th
Emirates Critical Care Conference (ECCC) held in Dubai, specialists said
that early rehabilitation is an emerging science and is yet to be
adopted as routine.
Held under the patronage of
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister
of Finance and Chairman of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the
three-day conference shed light on several issues in critical care
including benefits of early rehabilitation and strengthening care of ICU
Specialists said that patients who are
admitted in ICUs for acute illnesses or injuries are at risk of
experiencing a significant loss of functioning. When rehabilitation
services like physical and occupational therapies are carried out as
early as clinically possible, patient outcome is improved.
The understanding is early rehabilitation can help patients return to their previous activity levels sooner.
Towards this end the health care sector has to focus on rehabilitation strategies, they said.
The delay in rehabilitation can result in longer hospital stays, impacting both patient and cost.
Dr Waleed Jasem, Intensivist
at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) and conference speaker, told Gulf
News that early rehabilitation is an emerging science. “Newer studies
are pointing out to the benefits of early rehabilitation, which isn’t
being carried out as routine. We are also trying to educate the medical
community on increasing expertise in this field.”
According to Dr Shaju Kareem,
senior physiotherapist at Dubai Hospital and conference speaker, all
ICU patients, whether suffering from fractures, lung disease, and those
on life support devices, can benefit from early rehabilitation.
He said, “We are focusing on evidence-based practice, and how it can help the patient get back on his feet faster.”