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Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery
San Francisco Chronicle

The intensive care unit is a last frontier for physical therapy: It’s hard to exercise patients hooked to ventilators.

Some hospitals do manage to help critically ill patients stand or walk even if they’re tethered to life support. Now research that put sick mice on tiny treadmills shows why even a little activity may help speed recovery.

“I think we can do a better job of implementing early mobility therapies,” said Dr. D. Clark Files of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who led the research and whose hospital is trying to get more critically ill patients up, ventilator and all.

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