Device helps ICU patients get back on their feet

May 29th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 29 (IANS) A device designed by John Hopkins undergraduates enables ICU patients to get back on their feet with minimum fuss while still being connected to life-support systems. The invention will also help doctors figure out whether carefully supervised rehabilitation, as against continuous sedation and bed rest, can speed up their recovery.

Known as the “ICU Mover”, the device has been designed by bio-medical engineering students Swarnali Sengupta, Erica Jantho and Hanlin Wan.

Clinicians believe that allowing ICU patients to walk could avert some of the muscle weakness, bedsores and depression that develop when they are kept heavily sedated and bed-ridden.

The ICU Mover helps patients do exercises that would otherwise require the support of four staff members.

The machine can also serve as a wheelchair and “catch” a walking patient who needs to sit down immediately, because of fatigue or a sudden change in his or her medical condition.

The tool will also cut down on staffing demand and improve this new ICU rehabilitation programme.

“The finished product is truly outstanding,” said Dale Needham of Johns Hopkins.

“The most recent version of the Mover is far beyond a rough prototype. The students exceeded everyone’s expectations in designing a device that we could routinely use in the Medical ICU.”

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