Mobility- A basic need for recovery
On a recent trip to trial the LIVENGOOD PACE at Tulane Medical Center I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah. Sarah was a patient in the neurological ICU who had been on a ventilator for 3 weeks. During the placement of cervical traction she experienced heart failure. After being resuscitated she had to be intubated. The staff had good intentions of getting Sarah out of bed but equipment management was difficult. Consequently, she stayed in bed most days and occasionally, at best, made it to a chair.
The staff agreed at an attempt to walk with Sarah on a portable ventilator, while mounting all of her equipment on the PACE. She sat at the edge of the bed and slowly regained her ability to sit unsupported with her feet on the floor. We all held our breath as she transitioned from sitting to standing and cheered as she stood there smiling. Sarah was able to walk 16 feet to the door of her room and then after sitting in her chair we wheeled her to the picture window where she sat basking in the warm Louisiana sun, the sun she had not seen in 21 days, as her hospital room did not have an exterior window. This session of mobility worked her muscles, her lungs, her cardiovascular system and it gave her an emotional boost. From this day forward mobility became part of her care plan and helped her progress towards a transfer out of the ICU.
To thrive as humans we need to feed our basic needs. We need nourishment, sunlight, mobility and community. The sense of accomplishment Sarah felt that day was truly palpable in that room and I think we all slept better that night.
*Patient’s name has been changed to protect her identity