Initial Findings From A New Dedicated Post COVID-19 Physiotherapy Service

Title: Initial Findings From A New Dedicated Post COVID-19 Physiotherapy Service
Author(s): S Delahunty C Browne Dr. L Cormican
Institution: Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: COVID 19
Abstract: Objectives –
COVID-19 recovery is characterised by three stages denoted as acute, ongoing and long. The understanding and management of post COVID-19 sequelae is still evolving. A new physiotherapy service was established to identify and employ appropriate management to reduce the severity and duration of these sequelae.

Method –
Referrals were accepted from the Post COVID-19 clinic respiratory consultants, COVID-19@Home Remote Monitoring service and physiotherapy colleagues. A holistic assessment was completed with baseline individualised patient reported outcome measures.

Results –
826 patients successfully discharged following hospital admission with COVID-19 were offered a Post COVID-19 clinic appointment. 95 (11.5%) were identified with persistent post COVID-19 symptoms.
Prior to physiotherapy assessment, symptom duration ranged from 18 days to 16 months. 34.5% (n=19) of the assessed (n=55) patients were healthcare workers. 16 (29.1%) patients were unable to return to work with 27 (49.1%) returning to a modified level.
Fatigue (78.2%, n=43) and breathlessness (60%, n =33) were subjective primary issues. 61.8% (n=34) had a Fatigue Severity Score of ≥30/63. Breathing pattern dysfunction was identified in 34.5% (n=19). 41.8% (n=23) were offered mental health support referral s. A persistent dry cough was identified in 16.4% (n=9). 3 (5.5%) patients presented with a resting tachycardia. Discharged patients required a median of 6.5 physiotherapy interventions.

Conclusions –
Post COVID-19 sequelae were identified in 11.5% of discharged COVID-19 patients from Connolly Hospital with fatigue and breathlessness the primary issues. Identified cardiorespiratory issues included breathing pattern dysfunction, persistent dry cough and resting tachycardia. Fatigue was characterised of a disabling nature with widespread lifestyle and occupational modification.