Strength and Cardiorespiratory Exercise Rehabilitation for Severely Burned Patients during Intensive Care Units: A Survey of Practice

Janos Cambiaso-Daniel, Ingrid Parry, Eric Rivas, Jennifer Kemp-Offenberg, Soman Sen, Julie A. Rizzo, Michael A. Serghiou, Karen Kowalske, Steven E. Wolf, David Herndon, Oscar E. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Minimizing the deconditioning of burn injury through early rehabilitation programs (RP) in the intensive care unit (ICU) is of importance for improving the recovery time. The aim of this study was to assess current standard of care (SOC) for early ICU exercise programs in major burn centers. We designed a survey investigating exercise RP on the ICU for burn patients with >30% total burned surface area. The survey was composed of 23 questions and submitted electronically via SurveyMonkey® to six major (pediatric and adult) burn centers in Texas and California. All centers responded and reported exercise as part of their RP on the ICU. The characteristics of exercises implemented were not uniform. All centers reported to perform resistive and aerobic exercises but only 83% reported isotonic and isometric exercises. Determination of intensity of exercise varied with 50% of centers using patient tolerance and 17% using vital signs. Frequency of isotonic, isometric, aerobic, and resistive exercise was reported as daily by 80%, 80%, 83%, and 50% of centers, respectively. Duration for all types of exercises was extremely variable. Mobilization was used as a form of exercise by 100% of burn centers. Our results demonstrate that although early RP seem to be integral during burn survivor's ICU stay, no SOC exists. Moreover, early RP are inconsistently administered and large variations exist in frequency, intensity, duration, and type of exercise. Thus, future prospective studies investigating the various components of exercise interventions are needed to establish a SOC and determine how and if early exercise benefits the burn survivor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-901
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 23 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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