Providing state-of-the-art equipment

Supporting our most critically ill and injured patients

Supporting our most critically ill and injured patients

Guy’s and St Thomas’ is one of five specialised commissioned ECMO services within the UK. ECMO stands for Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation. It’s a bit like putting a patient on an artificial lung or heart machine.

Critical illness occurs suddenly, without warning, to people of all ages and has a massive impact upon patients. Patients commonly require support for their lung, heart or kidney function and this is often the main focus of patients, families and ICU staff. However the impact of critical illness on patients’ muscle function is also significant and long lasting. Although traditionally patients in ICU have been perceived as being ‘too sick’ to participate in rehabilitation, we now know that early exercise in the ICU improves long-term physical function. Safe, comfortable and early exercise can only be achieved with the help of specialist equipment.

The Sara ® Combilizer Chair and the arm/leg cycler have been bought for the benefit of the ICU patients from money donated by patients and their families to the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

'We are incredibly grateful for their support which will allow our patients to benefit from equipment the NHS cannot afford to buy' Kelly Morris, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist Critical Care

The Sara ® Combilizer chair allows patients to sit up and get out of bed even when the patient has significant muscle weakness. This is incredibly important part of early mobilisation, helping physical and psychological recovery. The arm and leg cycling machine can be used by patients even if they are in bed. It is a different form of exercise to standing and walking and the graded resistance settings allow even the weakest patients to benefit.

You can read how ECMO saved one of our supporters’ lives and read more about our amazing ECMO team.

Lead image: Nurses from St Thomas' Hospital