Sympathetic activity and early mobilization in patients in intensive and intermediate care with severe brain injuries: a preliminary prospective randomized study

Background: Patients who experience severe brain injuries are at risk of secondary brain damage, because of delayed vasospasm and edema. Traditionally, many of these patients are kept on prolonged bed rest in order to maintain adequate cerebral blood flow, especially in the case of subarachnoid hemorrhage. On the other hand, prolonged bed rest carries important morbidity. There may be a clinical benefit in early mobilization and our hypothesis is that early gradual mobilization is safe in these patients. The aim of this study was to observe and quantify the changes in sympathetic activity, mainly related to stress, and blood pressure in gradual postural changes by the verticalization robot (Erigo (R)) and after training by a lower body ergometer (MOTOmed-letto (R)), after prolonged bed rest of minimum 7 days. Methods: Thirty patients with severe neurological injuries were randomized into 3 groups with different protocols of mobilization: Standard, MOTOmed-letto (R) or Erigo (R) protocol. We measured plasma catecholamines, metanephrines and blood pressure before, during and after mobilization. Results: Blood pressure does not show any significant difference between the 3 groups. The analysis of the catecholamines suggests a significant increase in catecholamine production during Standard mobilization with physiotherapists and with MOTOmed-letto (R) and no changes with Erigo (R). Conclusions: This preliminary prospective randomized study shows that the mobilization of patients with severe brain injuries by means of Erigo (R) does not increase the production of catecholamines. It means that Erigo (R) is a well-tolerated method of mobilization and can be considered a safe system of early mobilization of these patients. Further studies are required to validate our conclusions.

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BMC Neurology, 16, 1
London, BioMed Central

 Record created 2016-11-18, last modified 2018-03-17

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