The Effects of Immobilization on Circulation and Respiration

  • Franz U. Steinberg
Part of the Topics in Bone and Mineral Disorders book series (TBMD)


Any individual who has spent several days in bed has experienced the deconditioning effect caused by prolonged bed rest. When first resuming an upright position, the heart pounds, the head feels drained of blood, the skin becomes moist with sweat, and fainting is not uncommon. The patient feels weak with a diminished tolerance to exertion. One of the major advances in medical care during World War II was the institution of early ambulation after illness and surgical operations. The period of bed rest after repairs of hernias, for instance, was reduced from 2 weeks to a few days. Early ambulation drastically reduced the morbidity of surgical procedures which, as it turned out, had been due to immobilization as much as to the procedures themselves.


Stroke Volume Deep Vein Thrombosis Plasma Volume Maximal Oxygen Uptake Submaximal Exercise 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz U. Steinberg
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.The Jewish Hospital of St. LouisUSA

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