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Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in Intensive Care Unit Patients: Integrative Review

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DOI: 10.4236/mri.2019.82002    165 Downloads   338 Views


Intensive care units’ acquired muscle weakness is present in approximately 50% of the patients. Although active muscle training can attenuate weakness, a large proportion of critical patients cannot participate in any active mobilization. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation may be an alternative strategy to reverse muscle weakness. The objective of the study was to review the scientific publications on the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and its parameters and the main results in patients hospitalized in intensive care units. This is an integrative review surveying studies in online databases. The studies were selected from the following descriptors: neuromuscular electrical stimulation AND parameters AND intensive care units AND muscle weakness. The inclusion criteria included articles that addressed the topic of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and the parameters used in patients admitted to intensive care units, aged 18 years or older. Exclusion criteria were studies involving animals, case reports, letters to the editor and book chapters. The search comprised articles in the Portuguese, English and Spanish languages from January 2013 to March 2019. Of the 185 articles identified, nine met the eligibility criteria. The studies were evaluated assessing the level of evidence, and the relevant information was presented in the table and discussed. The parameters of the neuromuscular electrical stimulation employed in the studies showed positive results for the maintenance of strength and muscle mass. There was evidence of benefits in the local and systemic microcirculation, potentially mobilizing endothelial stem cells, to prevent atrophy, to reduce mechanical ventilation time and stay in intensive care unit; and when incorporated into the usual physiotherapy care, proved to be more effective than usual care. Its use is safe and viable in critically ill patients.

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Baron, M. , Pinto, M. , Koepp, J. , Brandenburg, C. , Martins, P. , Santos, A. , Moraes, D. , Pinheiro, C. , Iketani, N. and Costa, B. (2019) Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in Intensive Care Unit Patients: Integrative Review. Modern Research in Inflammation, 8, 11-27. doi: 10.4236/mri.2019.82002.

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