Dr. Kari DiVito PT, DPT, Board-Certified Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Clinical Specialist (class of 2018) recently was awarded first prize at the Perioperative Team Care poster presentation during the 2022 American Association for Thoracic Surgery’s annual conference.
Her presentation, “Cannulate, Extubate, Ambulate: Effect of a Mobility-Focused Program on Outcomes of COVID patients on ECMO” reflects the philosophy adopted by the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program at WVUMedicine to promote early mobility as a means to decrease long-term complications.
“Early mobility is a relatively new concept for ECMO patients, but we feel it has been instrumental in our excellent outcomes, especially with the severe COVID-19 population,” DiVito said. “While mobility is typically spearheaded by physical therapists (PT), the teamwork by nursing and ECMO specialists allowed for a multiplication of mobility this population performed during hospitalization, which improved overall patient outcomes.”
Dr. DiVito’s collaborators on the project included Dr. JW Awari Hayanga, Director of the ECMO program, and Dr. Anne Swisher, Professor of physical therapy at WVU.