COVID-19 introduction

It is clear that many COVID-19 patients will experience physical, cognitive and psychological problems after ICU discharge (also called PICS (Post Intensive Care Syndrome). A new lung disease is emerging, which we provisionally refer to as the "Corona Obstructive Lung Disease (COLD)" (6).

A possible cause of PICS is that a COVID-19 patient stays on an IC significantly longer than other patients who require acute care in the ICU. For a COVID-19 patient, the average ICU stay is 23 days, while the average ICU stay for non-COVID-19 patiënts is 10 days (11).

The IC-related symptoms lead to long-term limitations in daily functioning and a reduced quality of life. Long-term consequences of PICS: 60% have physical complaints after 1 year (38). Some people can even no longer perform their daily activities such as dressing and washing independently.

Thus, hospitalized patients with COVID-19 will require intensive physical therapy counseling after hospitalization (12). These people benefit greatly from the guidance of a physiotherapist who specializes in treating lung patients (such as COPD).

Recently (April 11, 2020), the KNGF (Dutch Scociety for Physiotherapy) issued recommendations for physiotherapy in COVID-19 patients after discharge from the hospital or patients who have recovered in the home situation (22). We already see that physicians are going to refer these patients to primary care practices for physiotherapy rehabilitation.

With the equipment of ENRAF-NONIUS you acquire the knowledge and therapeutical options to adequately treat COVID-19 patients and to accelerate the return to their familiar (home) environment.


About the physiotherapeutic treatment of COVID-19 patients

COVID-19 patients, recovering from the Corona virus after ICU admission, are expected to experience one or more physical, cognitive and psychological complaints (24):

  • Lung function: pulmonary fibrosis / reduced lung capacity
  • Decreased breath muscle strength (inspiratory and expiratory)
  • IC-acquired muscle weakness from prolonged inactivity (ICUAW)
  • IC acquired polyneuropathy and myopathy
  • Decreased aerobic and anaerobic endurance
  • Joint pain and / or stiffness
  • Overall fatigue
  • Problems in ADL
  • Malnutrition
  • Cognitive: memory, concentration, dealing with stimuli and plans
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) (7)
  • Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)

The physical complaints of COVID-19 patients (muscle weakness, joint pain, reduced lung function and decreased endurance) can be traced back to the duration and nature of the immobilization and duration of ventilation.

Read more about the Critical Care and the benefits of early muscle stmulation
Read more about Post Critical care and active rehabilitation

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