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SPECIAL ARTICLE   Free accessfree

Minerva Pneumologica 2020 June;59(2):33-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4954.20.01874-X


lingua: Inglese

Pump up the lung and be stronger against COVID-19

Luigi PRENCIPE 1, Serena BARBERIS 2 , Tamara PERELLI 3, Tiziana TONELLI 4

1 Military Medical Inspectorate, Ministry of Defense, Rome, Italy; 2 Private practitioner, Geneva, Switzerland; 3 ASL Viterbo, Viterbo, Italy; 4 Private practitioner, Rome, Italy

The pathogenic mechanisms at the base of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disease have not yet been clarified. Also, the strategy against COVID-19 is still primary prevention, as both chemoprophylaxis and vaccine are still in the works. Most observations on COVID-19 in Italy have been shared in real time on social networks in closed groups of professionals. These talks have been crucial to evaluate the best strategies in an informal context of open collaboration. Since the very beginning, the most striking symptomatology of COVID-19 regarded the respiratory system, with rapid evolution to severe respiratory insufficiency requiring increasingly invasive ventilation in intensive care settings. These talks underlined, however, how the respiratory system’s fitness seemed to lead to a more favorable prognosis: patients with stronger respiratory dynamics seemed to be protected from the more severe and deadly outcomes. In this paper, we propose a respiratory physical therapy protocol as already used for the rehabilitation of other known respiratory conditions. This simple, safe, and inexpensive method consisting of inhaling and exhaling against resistance, using a plastic bottle, a straw, and following simple instructions, has been found effective in improving pulmonary capacity, respiratory dynamics, while training the respiratory muscles. Patients in isolation who are positive to SARS-CoV-2, but asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic, and those who tested negative but are at risk due to comorbidities, could greatly benefit from this method, slow the progression of the disease and, ultimately, avoid hospitalization.

KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Prevention and control; Respiratory therapy

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