Merlo & The Common Good: Jemima’s research

Merlo is proud to support The Common Goods’ vital research projects, including that of Jemima Boyd whose research aims to help ICU patients rehabilitate quicker, allowing them to live longer and have a better quality of life.

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Photo : Dean Merlo, Jemima Boyd & James Wilkinson

Merlo is proud to support The Common Goods’ vital research projects, including that of Jemima Boyd whose research aims to help ICU patients rehabilitate quicker, allowing them to live longer and have a better quality of life.

Currently the guidelines given to physiotherapists for exercising ICU patients are quite broad, and Jemima believes in some cases it’s too conservative. She wants these patients up and exercising sooner to improve both their physical and mental condition.

Jemima is testing how a revised exercise program for ICU patients compares against the set guidelines, and whether we can help these patients get out of bed sooner.

Working with a new device called a FloTrac Sensor, Jemima is aiming to help patients avoid risky surgery. The FloTrac unit is used to monitor a patient’s blood pressure and cardiac output.

It provides up-to-the-minute hemodynamic (blood) information where the patient is in a moderate to high-risk during surgery, including elderly or patients in whom an arterial catheter would not typically be placed. It is the next-generation system which offers a simple approach to monitoring key blood flow information.

Jemima gave us a quick update on her work in May 2017:

“Approximately 50 mechanically ventilated patients have been recruited into this study (about half the number needed). Data analysis is still underway, but we are seeing some interesting things. From the recorded physiotherapy sessions, just over half of the mechanically ventilated patients got out of bed with the physio in some form; such as a tilt table, marching on the spot or walking around the unit.

So far, it seems the guidelines are a useful tool in guiding physios when it can be safe to exercise ventilated patients, however, we need to finish recruited and finalise the data analysis to know the full impact of these guidelines. When this is done, I’ll be looking at the effect of exercising patients requiring extra heart medication in the ICU in closer detail, which will hopefully give us a greater idea of when it can be safe to get them up and out of bed.”

Watch this space…!

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