Children (Basel). 2022 Nov 19;9(11):1777. doi: 10.3390/children9111777.
The implementation of early mobility programs for children with critical illnesses has been growing. Children with acute neurologic conditions that result in the requirement of an external ventricular drain (EVD) may be excluded from attaining the benefits of early mobility programs due to the fear of adverse events. The purpose of this study was to examine the implementation, safety, and outcomes of children with EVDs mobilized by physical therapists. A single-site retrospective cohort study of children with EVDs mobilized by physical therapy (PT) was conducted. Patients aged 3-21 years who were hospitalized from September 2016 to December 2020 were included in this study. Results: Out of a total of 192 electronic health records with EVDs, 168 patients (87.5%) participated in 1601 early mobilization encounters led by physical therapists. No adverse events occurred due to mobilization. Patients mobilized more frequently by PT had a higher level of activity at discharge (p = 0.014), a shorter length of stay (p = 0.001), and a more favorable discharge (p = 0.03). The early mobilization of children with EVDs can be implemented safely without adverse events. Patients mobilized with an EVD are more functional at discharge, spend fewer days in the hospital, and have a more favorable discharge compared to those who do not receive PT.
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