BGU Murnau: First ECMO patient mobilized with the VEMO-SYSTEM®

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First ECMO patient mobilized with the VEMO-SYSTEM®

Robot-based early Mobilization

What sounds bulky at first is the exact opposite! The BG Trauma Clinic Murnau relies on a robotic assistance system with artificial intelligence to enable the implementa-tion of early mobilization therapies for severely affected patients already in the intensive care unit.


Since September 2020, a so-called VEMO system with a total of five intensive care beds has been in use at the BG Trauma Clinic Murnau. VEMO is the abbreviation for Very Early Mobilization. This innovative robotic assistance system is used to mobilize patients, even in the intensive care unit.  Thanks to the system, critically ill patients, including ventilated patients, can be treated according to their individual constitution.  They are erected up to 70° and the legs – supported by artificial intelligence – are moved.

The special thing is that the mobilization takes place directly in the patient bed without time-consuming switching and can be initiated by one or two people.  Dangerous and time-consuming transfers of severely affected persons to separate therapy devices can thus be avoided. The risk of injury to nurses and therapists is also reduced because their physically demanding work is supported by the system.

The therapy is therefore brought directly to the patient's bed and, in a special case, could even be used in a seriously ill Covid-19 patient who was artificially ventilated and connected to the ECMO* for weeks.  In early November 2021, the patient – a sporty, unvaccinated 53-year-old man – contracted the coronavirus and quickly contracted Covid-19 pneumonia. At the end of November 2021, intubation and artificial respiration became necessary due to a  worsening respiratory situation  . The lungs were so badly damaged that  lung failure occurred and ECMO therapy became necessary. Therefore, the patient was transferred from another hospital to the intensive care center of the BG Unfallklinik Murnau at the beginning of December 2021.

Due to both the severity and duration of the disease, the patient lost a large part of his muscle mass and a serious ICU acquired weakness (ICUAW) developed. This means that the patient could no longer move himself, neither legs nor arms and hands.  In this state,  mobilization began at the end of December with the support of the VEMO system.  The therapy was carried out daily for about 30 minutes, with the patient having  a total number of approx.  1000 steps achieved.  After only a few therapies, the lung function stabilized and the patient was able to be weaned from the ECMO in January 2022. The ICUAW regressed and in the meantime the patient already dares the first standing in front of the hospital bed.

Conventional mobilization in this situation with artificial respiration and ECMO therapy is only possible through an extremely high personnel deployment. With the use of the VEMO robot, patients can be offered excellent bullying at a very early stage of rehabilitation.  This is particularly important regarding the long-term success of treatment and later professional reintegration.

The patient, his relatives and the whole team of the intensive care unit are relieved about the recovery progress.  The use of innovative treatment methods has proven itself for almost 70 years at the BG Trauma Clinic Murnau and will continue to be used in the future for the best possible care of multiple and severely injured patients.

*ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation = Lung Replacement Procedure



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