February 20, 2018 – Dogs in the ICU


Anchor lead: What role do dogs play in intensive care units? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Getting people out of bed in intensive care units, even when they’re being mechanically ventilated, is associated with better outcomes. Can dogs help? That’s the hope of a program to utilize dogs in the ICU underway at Johns Hopkins. Megan Hosey is an expert in the recovery of critically ill people and one author of a recent paper describing the strategy in Critical Care.

Hosey: What we do on other units in the hospital is bring in dogs to give a sense of purpose, and maybe alleviate some of the anxiety to the early mobilization so that’s what sparked the idea was if I’m getting up while I’m mechanically ventilated well that’s really scary but if I can get up to pet the dog or give it a treat or do what we call an animal assisted intervention we think that that might spark some excitement in patients maybe give them a little bit of an extra sense of purpose with their mobilization.  :29

Hosey says patients report less pain and feeling more hopeful when dogs are present during interventions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.