Hospital intensive care units (ICUs) can be dangerous places. A year after being discharged, 70% of patients remain ‘functionally disabled’ due to their hospital stays. One reason for this is muscle wasting experienced in hospital.
We want to test a treatment called Repetitive Occlusion Stimulus (ROS). A fabric cuff, similar to that used to measure blood pressure, is placed round one thigh and inflated and deflated repeatedly, causing a restriction and then release of blood flow. This has been shown to effectively reduce muscle wasting in patients who are less ill but it has not been tried in ICU patients before.
We will take ultrasound measurements during patients’ stay in ICU, take blood tests and carry out strength tests.
Previous ICU patients and family members have identified this area of research as a priority.
The results will help us design a larger trial, with potential to definitively establish if ROS works. If it does, it has its impact could be substantial, at low cost.