Early Wii-hab for critical care patients

Critical care patients are being encouraged to start their rehabilitation programme early by playing computer games. Patients on ventilators are being encouraged to play the Wii games as part of a six month pilot study at Colchester General Hospital. The initiative is part of a project that aims to accelerate recovery rates and establish the benefits of starting rehabilitation as soon as possible.

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The early stage rehabilitation, which includes using weights and squeezing therapy as well as the Wii games, is now being offered to ventilated patients who are well enough to sit in a chair and breath unaided.

Specialist physiotherapist in respiratory care, Jennifer Powner, who is jointly running the pilot, said: ‘There is now a considerable amount of evidence to show that the earlier rehabilitation begins, the sooner a patient’s recovery starts and the sooner they can leave critical care. ‘Using a Wii can help this group of patients. It is a fun way to introduce and engage patients who are very poorly and anxious about their recovery to the idea of exercise.’

 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – Frontline – Robert Millett

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