Physical therapy and rehabilitation issues for patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2012;5(1):47-52. doi: 10.3233/PRM-2012-0195.


Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is widely used to support patients who have failed conventional therapies for cardio-respiratory failure. Patient immobility during management of critical illness and ECMO support can result in physical impairment that can lead to prolonged hospitalization and poor functional outcomes for ECMO survivors. Although little information regarding the role of physical therapy in improving functional outcomes for ECMO patients is available, early intervention with physical therapy may decrease duration of hospitalization and improve functional outcomes for patients supported with ECMO.

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness / mortality
  • Critical Illness / rehabilitation*
  • Early Ambulation / methods*
  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / methods
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / rehabilitation*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immobilization / adverse effects
  • Length of Stay
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises / methods*
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Muscular Atrophy / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome