Grant Application

Maddie Aubuchon, PT, DPT, of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC


Proposed Innovation

Critically ill children who are confined to prolonged bed rest and immobility in pediatric and cardiac intensive care units (ICUs) are at risk of developing neuromuscular weakness, delirium, and other long-lasting impairments.

The focus of this project is to promote early mobility of medically complex ICU patients ages four and up. The goal is to standardize safe and effective early mobility to help young patients recover faster, shorten hospital stays, reduce delirium, and minimize overall hospital costs.


Improvements in Action

Through this project, all staff members involved in direct patient care will be trained in safe early mobility, with and without use of specialized equipment, for medically complex patients who are mechanically ventilated or require increased oxygen support. An experienced physical therapist, or “PT Champion,” will conduct in-service education and bedside hands-on equipment training of staff.


Results — In Progress

As staff is educated and early mobility routinely initiated, an early mobility protocol will be developed. Ultimately, the goal is to establish a standard for early mobility for all pediatric and cardiac intensive care patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.