The benefits of a physiotherapy review for post intensive care COVID-19 patients

Title: The benefits of a physiotherapy review for post intensive care COVID-19 patients
Author(s): M Baily-Scanlan E Joyce E Farrell E McCormack C Scallan
Institution: Tallaght University Hospital
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: COVID 19
Abstract: Post intensive care (ICU) Covid-19 survivors may experience a range of sequelae related to their critical condition. Emotional, cognitive and physical symptoms can limit patients functioning. A physiotherapy review can identify physical and exercise limitations which can be ameliorated to help patients’ recovery. Patients (n=27) who were in ICU in Tallaght University Hospital with COVID-19 between March and June 2020 were invited to attend a multi-disciplinary clinic of which 22 attended in October 2020.
Physiotherapy assessments included mobility status; a 6 minute walk test (6MWT); grip strength assessment and completion of the short form international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ-SF).
11 patients were referred to a community based pulmonary rehab programme due to their low levels of exercise tolerance. 3 patients were referred to the oxygen clinic due to on-going oxygen desaturation on exertion. 6 patients were referred for out-patient musculoskeletal physiotherapy review. These patients had shoulder dysfunction from proning (n=3), foot weakness (n=2) and back/hip pain (n=1) since their discharge from ICU. Two patients required on-going physiotherapy which included neuro, aquatic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. As indicated from their IPAQ-SF scores the overall levels of physical activity were low. Exercise advice, education and health promotion was provided to all patients.
A physiotherapy review is important for this patient cohort to identify/address needs and to ensure onward referral to appropriate health care services.