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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 June;57(3):434-42

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06551-5

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physical rehabilitation in Intensive Care Unit in acute respiratory distress syndrome patients with COVID-19

Ozden OZYEMISCI TASKIRAN 1 , Zeynep TURAN 1, Suda TEKIN 2, Evren SENTURK 3, Mahir TOPALOGLU 1, Fatma YURDAKUL 3, Onder ERGONUL 2, Nahit CAKAR 3

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey; 2 Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey; 3 Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey



BACKGROUND: The risk of muscle weakness is high in the survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome with COVID-19 following discharge from intensive care unit.
AIM: To evaluate the effects of early rehabilitation program in intensive care unit in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to COVID-19.
DESIGN: The design of the study is observational.
SETTING: The setting of the study is inpatient.
POPULATION: Thirty-five patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to COVID-19 were enrolled.
METHODS: This study was performed in an intensive care unit of a university hospital. Early rehabilitation program consisting of passive or active range of motion exercises and neuromuscular electrical stimulation in addition to standard intensive care (N.=18) compared to standard intensive care (N.=17). Primary outcome was hand grip strength following discharge.
RESULTS: Rehab group had higher prevalence of chronic pulmonary diseases and neurologic diseases. There was no difference in hand grip or manual muscle strength following discharge between rehab and non-rehab groups. No adverse event was noted.
CONCLUSİONS: The results did not support the beneficial effects of early rehabilitation in intensive care unit on improving muscle strength. More patients with pulmonary and neurologic diseases in rehab group might impede the impact of rehabilitation on outcomes. On the other hand, these comorbidities underline the role and need of rehabilitation. It is safe both for the patients and the health care workers when necessary precautions are taken.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: This study guide how to rehabilitate patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome with COVID-19 during intensive care unit in a safe way.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Respiratory distress syndrome; Critical illness; Intensive care units; Muscle weakness; Rehabilitation; Electric stimulation

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