Intensive care patients can benefit from cycling in bed at QA

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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GETTING on a bike in your bed may seem like a bizarre way to start the day.

But that’s exactly what patients in the intensive care unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital could be doing to help them get moving again.

Staff want to raise £7,000 to buy a special bike called the Motomed, to help patients.

Physiotherapist Susan Calvert said: ‘Many of us struggle to get going in the morning when we’ve spent just a few hours resting in our bed.

‘Can you imagine trying to get your body working again after being unwell, having been sedated for many days and reliant on a breathing machine?

‘This is a typical scenario for many of our patients who are in critical care.

‘The Motomed is a special bike that can be used with people while they are in bed, from the earliest point in their critical care stay.

‘There is much evidence now to support early rehabilitation and the Motomed has been shown to improve patient’s strength, ability to walk and feeling of wellbeing.’

Last year the team trialled the bike, and patient Steve Norris, 64, had a go.

Mr Norris was admitted to QA in September with severe abdominal problems, and was later diagnosed with multiple organ failure.

He spent 37 days in intensive care where he was kept sedated and put on a ventilator.

Mr Norris became very weak and when the sedation was reduced he was unable to lift his legs off the bed or hold himself upright.

He said: ‘When I woke up my legs felt especially weak.

‘I remember sitting on the edge of the bed and if I’d put my feet on the ground to try and stand up I would have just collapsed.

‘I knew by working on the bike it would get me out of hospital sooner.

‘I was told I’d be in hospital until Christmas, but I was home much sooner than that.’

To raise the money, a Motomed Challenge event will take place on March 26, in the QA reception area, from 9am to 4pm.

Ms Calvert will aim to cycle 60-miles on the Motomed - the distance that would typically be covered in one week by intensive care patients using the specialist bike while in their bed.

The team is also asking volunteers, staff, and visitors to help them collectively cover another 40-miles on the day.

To donate, visit