Safety and Efficacy of Mobility Interventions in Patients With Femoral Catheters in the ICU: A Prospective Observational Study

Cardiopulm Phys Ther J. 2013 Jun;24(2):12-7.


Introduction: There are limited data describing mobility interventions provided to patients with femoral catheters. The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of femoral catheter related adverse effects during physical therapy (PT) sessions in a cardiovascular intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: This was a prospective, observational study and included patients with at least one femoral catheter. Data were collected after each PT session.

Results: There were 77 subjects with a total of 92 femoral catheters (50 arterial, 15 central venous, and 27 dialysis) treated. A total of 210 separate PT sessions occurred with 630 mobility activities including sitting on side of bed, standing at the bedside, transfers to stretcher chair or regular chair, and walking. There were no catheter related mechanical or thrombotic complications during any of the PT sessions.

Conclusions: Physical therapy sessions, including standing and walking were feasible and safe in cardiovascular ICU patients with femoral catheters who met the criteria for mobility interventions. The results from this study support the hypothesis that early mobilization in patients with femoral catheters is important to minimize functional decline and provide evidence that the presence of femoral catheters alone should not be a reason to limit progressive mobility interventions.

Keywords: ICU; early mobilization; femoral catheter; physical therapy.