MARCH 2009

Shirley Tse and Demetrios Wilson

MOTOmed letto device provides physical fitness for inpatients

Imagine being able to exercise while you sleep! In the liver transplant and oncology Intensive Care Units (ICUs), a device called a MOTOmed letto allows patients to exercise in bed — sometimes even when they are asleep.

“I’m really grateful for this machine because I work with a lot of patients who are in the hospital for prolonged periods, so it’s critical to keep them active both physically and emotionally,” notes Demetrios Wilson, UCLA physical therapist. “It makes me feel like I’m doing my best to challenge patients while also protecting their extremely vulnerable conditions.”

“Over the last several months it has been used by 15 to 20 patients and we have had very positive results. We hope to move it into the medical and neuropsychiatric ICUs soon,” says Cindy Jaeger, inpatient physical therapy/occupational therapy manager, RRUCLA.

The device slides over the foot of the bed where two pedals can be adjusted to fit the patient. A physical therapist sets controls on either a passive or active-assist mode, depending on the condition of the patient. A computer monitors how long and how hard the patient exercises and indicates which side of the body is weaker. The exercise breaks the monotony of the day and makes patients feel they are making progress and heading toward rehabilitation.