Clinical Practice Guideline: Early Mobilization and Rehabilitation of Critically Ill Burn Patients

J Burn Care Res. 2022 May 26;irac008. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irac008. Online ahead of print.


This Clinical Practice Guideline addresses early mobilization and rehabilitation (EMR) of critically ill adult burn patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting. We defined EMR as any systematic or protocolized intervention that could include muscle activation, active exercises in bed, active resistance exercises, active side-to-side turning, or mobilization to sitting at the bedside, standing, or walking, including mobilization using assistance with hoists or tilt tables, which was initiated within at least 14 days of injury, while the patient was still in an ICU setting. After developing relevant PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes) questions, a comprehensive literature search was conducted with the help of a professional medical librarian. Available literature was reviewed and systematically evaluated. Recommendations were formulated through the consensus of a multidisciplinary committee, which included burn nurses, physicians, and rehabilitation therapists, based on the available scientific evidence. No recommendation could be formed on the use of EMR to reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation in the burn ICU, but we conditionally recommend the use of EMR to reduce ICU-acquired weakness in critically ill burn patients. No recommendation could be made regarding EMR's effects on the development of hospital-acquired pressure injuries or disruption or damage to the skin grafts and skin substitutes. We conditionally recommend the use of EMR to reduce delirium in critically ill burn patients in the ICU.