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A Multidisciplinary Approach to Early Mobilization of Patients With Burns

Taylor, Sarah MSN, RN, ACNS-BC; Manning, Sophie BSc, PT; Quarles, Jill MS, PT

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e31827531c8
Original Articles

Mobilizing patients with burns can be challenging due to their unique characteristics. Many times, common practice is to elevate and immobilize the burned extremity after debridement and grafting. On the contrary, mobility is imperative for patients with burns, as patients can lose function and flexibility quickly. The objective of this article was to review the current evidence related to early ambulation in patients with burns as well as barriers to mobilization within a burn intensive care unit. It also provides a demonstration of how a nurse at the bedside in collaboration with a physical therapist can implement these interventions and assist with early ambulation in patients with burns.

Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit (Ms Taylor) and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Mss Manning and Quarles), University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor.

Correspondence: Sarah Taylor, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.