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early mobility, early patient mobilization, external ventricular drain, external ventriculostomy drains, neurological ICU



  1. Moyer, Megan T.
  2. Hinkle, Janice L.
  3. Mendez, James D.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at a high risk for immobility due to their high acuity and need for invasive devices including external ventriculostomy drains (EVDs). Prolonged patient immobilization is associated with poor outcomes. METHODS: Whittemore and Knafl's 5-stage framework was used to conduct an integrative review to synthesize findings from quantitative research studies on early patient mobilization for patients with EVDs in the neurological ICU. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses checklist was used as the reporting guideline. RESULTS: In 12 studies, a total of 412 patients with EVDs in neurological ICUs were actively mobilized with a goal of progressing to ambulation. Mobilization out of bed with a ventriculostomy drain was safe and feasible without significant adverse events. CONCLUSION: There is a need to clarify best practices for early mobilization of patients with EVDs in the neurological ICU and to explore the influence of early mobilization on patients' rates of venous thromboembolism, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, catheter line-associated blood stream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and ventriculostomy-related infections. No studies measured the total time the EVD was clamped during the patient mobilization intervention or the total amount of cerebrospinal fluid drainage on the day of mobilization. Early mobilization of patients with EVDs in the neurological ICU who were permitted out of bed was universally safe and feasible, with minimal adverse events when safety checks were integrated into mobilization protocols.