Purpose: The purpose was to determine (a) safety and feasibility of functional electrical stimulation (FES)-cycling and (b) compare FES-cycling to case-matched controls in terms of functional recovery and delirium outcomes.
Materials and methods: Sixteen adult intensive care unit patients with sepsis ventilated for more than 48 hours and in the intensive care unit for at least 4 days were included. Eight subjects underwent FES-cycling in addition to usual care and were compared to 8 case-matched control individuals. Primary outcomes were safety and feasibility of FES-cycling. Secondary outcomes were Physical Function in Intensive Care Test scored on awakening, time to reach functional milestones, and incidence and duration of delirium.
Results: One minor adverse event was recorded. Sixty-nine out of total possible 95 FES sessions (73%) were completed. A visible or palpable contraction was present 80% of the time. There was an improvement in Physical Function in Intensive Care Test score of 3.9/10 points in the intervention cohort with faster recovery of functional milestones. There was also a shorter duration of delirium in the intervention cohort.
Conclusions: The delivery of FES-cycling is both safe and feasible. The preliminary findings suggest that FES-cycling may improve function and reduce delirium. Further research is required to confirm the findings of this study and evaluate the efficacy of FES-cycling.
Keywords: Electric stimulation therapy; Intensive care; Muscle weakness; Recovery of function; Rehabilitation.
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