Mangaluru: Physiotherapy playing prominent role in prevention, management of COVID-19 patients

Media Release

Mangaluru, Jul 2: Approximately 15 per cent of COVID-19 patients develop moderate to severe respiratory complications and require hospitalisation and oxygen support, with a further 5 per cent who require admission to an Intensive Care Unit and supportive therapies including intubation and ventilation. The most common complication in severe COVID-19 patients is pneumonia, but other complications may include Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, multiple organ failure, including acute kidney injury and cardiac injury.

As far as prevention is concerned, apart from regular hand wash and social distancing, this article recommends simple breathing exercise techniques which would keep our lung healthier. It prevents our lung from getting infected easily and in case he/she is affected by COVID-19, the person will have speedy recovery due to his/her regular breathing exercise. Breathing into the abdomen will expand the abdominal muscles in all directions. So that lung can expand freely down, front and back and sideways. And then, exhale gently but, double the time of inhalation. This kind of practice will keep our respiratory muscle to work effortlessly and improves lung capacity. One of the easiest forms of exercises is balloon blowing exercise is easier and can be performed from children to the elderly. Sit in a quiet place, take a balloon, pull it two or three times for easy expansion and then blow the air into it for about 3-4 seconds and then close the balloon. With the air inside the balloon, blow it for the second time. Now your balloon size will be bigger. But still do not diffuse the balloon. Because the air inside the balloon will act as resistance. Continue your blowing for four or five times then diffuse it. Start again, repeat it for at least five times. If you are a smoker or an alcoholic, it will affect your lung very badly. Please quit smoking or stop drinking in order to survive during this pandemic.

When it comes to treatment, physiotherapists play a crucial role in aiding the recovery of COVID-19 patients through facilitating breathing techniques such as deep breathing exercises, inspiratory muscle strengthening.

Actually, some of the physiotherapy interventions are not usually required for COVID-19 patients who have a consistent dry cough, but in patients who have a more productive cough. “The patients who have a consistent dry cough, we avoid teaching them exercises because it might end up in aggravating their cough instead and lead to producing more droplets and aerosol particles. But in some acute cases, who have a dry cough, limited breathing exercises might actually help them take longer and easier breaths. Early mobilisation exercises can help oxygen circulation in these patients, who often have low blood oxygen due to breathing difficulties."

In critically-ill patients who are not at all able to expel the mucus out of their lungs, physiotherapists can assist and teach about how to expel the sputum using different manual techniques. Even prone positioning may assist ventilation and closed suctioning is recommended for the patient who had severe secretions.

All these procedures require physiotherapists to remain in close contact with the patient, who is likely to continuously cough while he or she is taught breathing exercises and positioning. Hence, the physiotherapists involved in the procedure need to remain extra cautious and wear high-quality protective gear at all times.




Title : Mangaluru: Physiotherapy playing prominent role in prevention, management of COVID-19 patients


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