Very early mobilization in stroke patients treated with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator

Scott M. Arnold, Maryane Dinkins, Lesia H. Mooney, William D. Freeman, Bhupendra Rawal, Michael G. Heckman, Olivia A. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background There are limited prospective data on the relative safety of very early mobilization of stroke patients after intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) in stroke patients. We hypothesized that very early patient mobilization within 24 hours after IV rtPA administration for acute ischemic stroke would be safe and feasible. Methods The study was a prospective observational safety and feasibility study involving very early mobilization of stroke patients by physical therapy/occupational therapy within 24 hours after IV rtPA administration for treatment of ischemic stroke. A premobilization safety checklist was completed before mobilization to ensure hemodynamic stability. We assessed adverse safety events, including changes in patient symptoMS changes in vital signs, and bleeding complications. Results Eighteen patients were enrolled in the study, and informed consent was obtained. One hundred percent of patients were evaluated with a premobilization safety checklist; 72.2% (13 of 18) were mobilized without any adverse event. Eighty-nine percent (42 of 47) of mobilization activities were tolerated without an adverse response. One patient was orthostatic, and 1 patient had transient worsening of hemiparesis. No patient had intracranial bleeding or permanent worsening of neurologic deficits. Conclusions Very early mobilization within 24 hours of ischemic stroke for patients who receive IV rtPA appears to be relatively safe and feasible in most patients. Patients who are mobilized within 24 hours of IV rtPA require detailed neurologic and vital sign monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1168-1173
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015



  • Early mobilization
  • intensive care unit
  • ischemic stroke
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • recombinant tissue plasminogen activator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this