Gotta keep moving…

Patients can start their rehabilitation journey earlier than ever, thanks to donation of New Zealand’s first supine bike in an ICU.

The wife of a patient who spent 77 days in Auckland City Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has chosen to honour her late husband’s memory by donating a state-of-the-art bike to the ICU.

This is the first time ICU patients in New Zealand have had access to this incredible technology.  The supine* bike allows patients to exercise in bed, through muscle stimulation , while paralysed or sedated, which can help them get mobile sooner.

Nurse Unit Manager Ana Gluyas says the bike helps prevent muscle wastage for bed-bound patients and may help their rehabilitation.

“Keeping muscles moving makes all the difference for patients who aren’t well enough to move around by themselves, and some patients are in intensive care for several weeks or even months,” says Ana. “After lying down for so long, even sitting on the side of the bed is a challenge, so passive or active muscle movement and exercise is really important.”

The donation of the bike, valued at $40,000, was made by the wife of a much-loved patient who wanted to make a difference for future patients. Without their support, it wouldn’t have been possible to bring this innovative technology to the hospital.

“We are so grateful for this donation, which will benefit many patients, and we’re delighted to be the first ICU in the country to give patients access to this incredible technology,” says Ana.

Auckland Health Foundation Director Candy Schroder says this donation is one of many instances where a patient or family member has felt moved to support our hospitals following their personal experience.

“Donors can support one of our priority projects, or support a specific hospital service that’s special to them, as this generous donor chose to do,” says Candy.

*Supine – lying on the back with the face and torso facing up.