Patients in Intensive Care Units often require some mode of ventilation, including mechanical or non-invasive, and undergo an extended recovery path. Accompanied with this complex patient population is impaired mobility, which can lead to Intensive Care Unit Acquired Weakness (ICU-AW). ICU-AW is a syndrome that affects peripheral as well as respiratory muscles (Hermans, 2015). Contributing factors to muscle weakness are medication, altered nutritional status, and catabolism. Therefore, preventing the loss of muscle function during the early stages of critical illness is important.
In the ventilated population, initiating early mobilization assists with counteracting ICU-AW. Mobility progression is phased starting with head of bed elevation at various increments progressing to the fully upright position, then sitting at side of bed, mobilize to seated surface, and eventual ambulation. Patients who are lying in bed or in the seated position for long periods of time have impeded blood flow in the sacral region, putting them at risk. TurnCare’s Guardian System can be used on multiple surfaces and supports patients for long periods of time in supine, prone, upright, and seated positions. TurnCare's Guardian System thus prevents vascular compression and compromised blood flow in the sacral region.
The Guardian System allows the flexibility to transition patients from the bed to the chair and back, all while still reducing the risk for pressure injuries. Mobilizing patients in conjunction with reducing risk and clinical effort are key factors the Guardian System provides the healthcare team with easy integration into daily workflow.