With the coronavirus epidemic, the need for respiratory physiotherapy increased

Physiotherapist Lecturer Tuğçe Bilgiç stated that the need for respiratory physiotherapy increased with the coronavirus epidemic and said, “With the respiratory rehabilitation to be applied to Covid-19 patients, hospitalization and emergency applications are reduced. Shortens the length of stay and increases the survival rate for inpatients.”

With the coronavirus epidemic, the need for respiratory physiotherapy increased

Providing information about respiratory physiotherapy, Physiotherapist Lect. Tuğçe Bilgiç from Istanbul Gelisim University said: "In the treatment that we can call respiratory rehabilitation or pulmonary rehabilitation, there are methods applied by physiotherapists especially for resistant symptoms such as shortness of breath seen in COVID-19 in addition to standard medical treatment. At this point, improving the physical condition of the patient, reducing the symptoms, providing correct and effective breathing training and thus increasing the quality of life are among the main objectives.”


Stating that most of the patients had limited movements due to shortness of breath, Bilgiç said: “Even a small effort can worsen the symptoms. For these reasons, respiratory rehabilitation is a set of comprehensive interventions that require planning and implementation of multidisciplinary treatment methods for Covid-19 patients who are currently being treated at home or in hospital.”


Sharing the information that approximately 80 percent of Covid-19 cases progress with mild and moderate symptoms without pneumonia (pneumonia / lung inflammation), Bilgiç said, “According to the studies, the disease manifests itself severely in approximately 14% of pneumonia patients. In 5% of cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiple organ dysfunction/failure and/or septic shock develops. Especially in this group, symptoms are getting worse and there may be addiction to respirators.”
Bilgiç continued her speech as follows:
“The approaches recommended by physiotherapists to these patients in the acute phase are positioning, relaxation and passive, active-assisted or active mobilization that can be applied to the extent permitted by the patient's clinical condition. It is suggested that breathing exercises, including airway cleaning techniques, exercise training and practices for respiratory muscles can also be included in the treatment program in the chronic period.”
Physiotherapist Lect. Tuğçe Bilgiç added: “It facilitates compliance with exercises and exertion by increasing the lung capacity, reduces dependence on respiratory devices, increases the quality of life by reducing shortness of breath. Exercises for chest and arm muscles increase strength and function. Hospitalization and emergency admissions are reduced. It shortens the length of stay and increases the survival rate for hospitalized cases. There is a decrease in psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety and an increase in motivation. It allows for aerobic exercises such as long walks. It also increases compliance with the drugs that should be used.”
Bilgiç added that the Turkish Physiotherapists Association also stated that those who had Covid-19 may have different problems in respiratory, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems: “In the fight against Covid-19, especially for the population with risk factors such as advanced age, chronic disease and weak immunity, respiration rehabilitation is one of the most powerful weapons and its importance is understood more and more every day.”

Edited date: 04.12.2020
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