Maintaining Mobility in a Patient Who Is Pregnant and Has COVID-19 Requiring Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Case Report.
Physical therapy. 2021;(1)
OBJECTIVE Mobilization while receiving life support interventions, including mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), is a recommended intensive care unit (ICU) intervention to maintain physical function. The purpose of this case report is to describe a novel approach to implementing early mobility interventions for a patient who was pregnant and receiving ECMO while continuing necessary infectious disease precautions because of diagnosed coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). METHODS A 27-year-old woman who was pregnant was admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 and rapidly developed acute respiratory failure requiring 9 days of ECMO support. After a physical therapist consultation, the patient was standing at the bedside by hospital day 5 and ambulating by hospital day 9. RESULTS The patient safely participated in physical therapy during ICU admission and was discharged to home with outpatient physical therapy follow-up after 14 days of hospitalization. CONCLUSION Early mobility is feasible during ECMO with COVID-19, and active participation in physical therapy, including in-room ambulation, may facilitate discharge to home. Innovative strategies to facilitate routine activity in a patient who is critically ill with COVID-19 require an established and highly trained team with a focus on maintaining function. IMPACT Early mobility while intubated, on ECMO, and infected with COVID-19 is feasible while adhering to infectious disease precautions when it is performed by an experienced interdisciplinary team.