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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 9 ( September, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Intensive Care Unit-acquired Neuromuscular Weakness: A Prospective Study on Incidence, Clinical Course, and Outcomes

Skaria Baby, Christina George, Narjeet M Osahan

Keywords : Intensive care unit, Medical Research Council score, Neuromuscular weakness

Citation Information : Baby S, George C, Osahan NM. Intensive Care Unit-acquired Neuromuscular Weakness: A Prospective Study on Incidence, Clinical Course, and Outcomes. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (9):1006-1012.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23975

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 08-09-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Background: Neuromuscular weakness may manifest subsequent to critical illness in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. This weakness termed as “ICU-acquired weakness” (ICUAW) has a significant bearing on the length of mechanical ventilation, duration of ICU stays, long-term disability, and survival rate. Early identification of ICUAW helps in planning appropriate strategies, as well as in predicting the prognosis and long-term outcomes of these patients. Aims and objectives: To identify the incidence of new-onset neuromuscular weakness developing among patients admitted in the ICU (ICUAW) and study its clinical course and impact on the duration of ICU stay. Methods: This prospective observational study evaluated patients admitted to the ICU over a period of 1 year and 3 months (November 1, 2015, to January 31, 2017). All patients fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria were evaluated with the Medical Research Council (MRC) score for muscle strength. Patients with an average score <4 were diagnosed with ICUAW. Included patients were examined on alternate days to study the clinical progression of the weakness till ICU discharge or death of the patient. The duration of ICU stay was noted. Results and conclusion: The study revealed a significant association of ICUAW with age, Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) Score, duration of mechanical ventilation, and ICU mortality. The incidence of the weakness was found to be 7.83% among the patients who survived and 50% among those patients who did not survive critical illness.

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