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Home / Pune News / Doctors: Exercises help improve breathing, mobility post Covid-19

Doctors: Exercises help improve breathing, mobility post Covid-19

Doctors in the city have stated that the therapy helps people to improve oxygen uptake and are keeping them mobile

pune Updated: Oct 19, 2020, 15:55 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times, Pune
A health worker at a Covid -19 testing centre in Pune straps a face shield on Sunday.
A health worker at a Covid -19 testing centre in Pune straps a face shield on Sunday.(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

A three-year-old girl who suffered burn injuries and tested positive for Covid-19 got an extra helping hand from physiotherapists at the Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) for regular exercise.

The district administration had started offering physiotherapy treatment focusing on post-Covid-19 treatment including respiratory physiotherapy.

Doctors in the city have stated that the therapy helps people to improve oxygen uptake and are keeping them mobile.

The girl was admitted to Sassoon hospital’s Covid ward and was also suffering from burns on her abdomen.

“Last week when she was admitted to Sassoon, we started the treatment on both her burns and Covid-19. We had to keep her mobile. Our exercises helped her to improve her breathing and mobility exercises helped her in overcoming the disability that she might have got because of burns,” said Dr Raziya Nagarwala who was her treating doctor and is also the cardiovascular and pulmonary physiotherapist from Sancheti hospital.

Dr Pawan Shirsath, head of the physiotherapy department from Sassoon Hospital said, “We have started the involvement of physiotherapy for a long time in Sassoon. We are rehabilitating people with mild symptoms and with severe symptoms for Covid-19. Also, in critical patients like pregnant women, children and, patients with other complications. Patients in ICU are completely immobile. In many patients, we have seen that they did not die because of Covid-19 but because of immobility which caused deep vein thrombosis (DVT). So, mobility exercises for critical Covid patients are pivotal. For mild patients, we are improving their lung capacity by taking exercises like climbing stairs. For those who are interested, post-discharge, we are even giving them online physiotherapy sessions.”

Doctors also say that in some of the critical Covid patients, it is seen that the patients are developing something called ‘post-intensive care syndrome’.

This syndrome is characterised by the hampering of physical abilities, cognitive functions, and psychological well-being.

Experts mention that physiotherapists are assisting people even post-discharge.

Nagarwala added that physiotherapy is helping patients to improve their oxygen uptake and they are keeping them mobile with exercises.

“We are working in close association with other specialists too. Our exercises help them to expel the mucus out of their body through cough in such a way that they don’t have to be dependent on external procedures. But in some critically ill patients, we are working alongside ENT specialists to suction out the mucus out of the patient’s body by using the catheter,” said Nagarwala.

In the protocol prepared by the administration for post-Covid management, physiotherapy is said essential to avoid complications by assisting them to wean off by doing early rehabilitation.

Almost all Covid facilities in the city have appointed physiotherapists in ICU’s and Covid special wards.

The protocol states, “Physiotherapy is needed for all patients with Covid-19 disease. Respiratory physiotherapy with respiratory exercise should be taught to all. Patients should continue to do it for a period of six weeks to three months. Details to be provided by a physiotherapist.”

Dr Sourabh Sane, a city-based physiotherapist said, “Our physiotherapists are visiting many hospitals and Covid centres regularly. With the aid of physiotherapy, the high oxygen requirement goes down. We have cases where ICU patients used to see breathlessness by walking two steps. But, with physiotherapy, they are learning techniques for getting the strength to become mobile again. Our progressive exercise protocol is helping these patients to overcome the weakness and fatigue post-discharge.”

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