With the expansion of the presence of ICUs (Intensive Care Unit) in hospitals, physiotherapy has increased the importance of its collaboration in the recovery of patients in this sector.
With the explosion of Covid-19 and its spread and global reach, its role in the rehabilitation of patients in the post-illness period has grown dramatically.
At this stage, physiotherapy aims to prevent complications of the respiratory system and muscle deconditioning, accelerate recovery from mechanical ventilation and improve physical function, as stated by Claire Baldwin, from Flinders University, Australia.
Baldwin is co-author of the Clinical Practice Guide for Acute Care Physical Therapists, published in the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy. She highlights that the contribution of physical therapy to the prevention and treatment of weaknesses that can be acquired in the ICU is vitally important, but the disease caused by the new coronavirus brings unique challenges.
Like the common presentation of Covid-19 which doesn’t seem to be characterized by coughing up phlegm. However, some patients develop it and cannot clear their lungs because of difficulty in coughing.
In these cases, explains Baldwin, as the cough generates aerosols, it is important that physiotherapists, when applying respiratory physiotherapy techniques, are wearing special protective clothing.
In the Brazilian Journal of Intensive Care, Cláudia Tozato and collaborators from the Physiotherapy Service of Santa Casa de São Paulo report the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation of post-Covid-19 patients.
The authors report that symptoms are persistent, even in mild cases, and that cardiopulmonary rehabilitation can improve the functional capacity, quality of life and prognosis of these patients.
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