The battle of the COVID19 for most patients starts with persistent coughs and breathlessness. This is a sign of how the coronavirus affects the lungs.
This happens because the patient's air sacs get filled with fluids, thus making the lungs unable to absorb any oxygen. Sadly, the effect on the lungs does not only last for a few days until the doctor heals you. It can last for years to come.
The coronavirus can cause irritation and inflammation on the lining of the respiratory tract. This may lead to lung damage that might take years to heal. After the initial irritation, the complications may go further.
A patient might have to face the trouble of Pneumonia, Lung fibrosis and Pulmonary Thrombo Embolism (PTE).
Lung fibrosis or pulmonary fibrosis implies the scarring of your lungs. This causes symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, unexpected loss in weight with dry cough.
Pulmonary Thrombo Embolism can be a life-threatening disease. It refers to a clot that forms in the pulmonary artery and blocks the path for oxygen to reach your lungs.
While these complications are problematic by themselves, they become more dangerous for elders. These issues can lead to pulmonary hypertension, lung cancer, respiratory failure, and pneumothorax.
Elders with diabetes, cancer, and heart disease must do all they can to avoid these complications.
Thus, there is a need for a lung rehabilitation program to make sure elders don't reach a difficult health condition to suffer. We will cover more on why lung rehab is a must. But let’s first understand what it is and what happens in a pulmonary/ lung rehabilitation program.
What is Lung or Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Lung rehabilitation refers to the personalized rehab treatment of patients with chronic diseases. This procedure takes place after a detailed assessment by our special team of doctors.
The core element of this program is exercise training. Along with that, a lung rehabilitation program comprises comprehensive interventions as well. These primarily include psychological and nutritional support. And is followed by education and changes in behavior.
The Reason Why Pulmonary/Lung Rehabilitation Is a Must.
All those complications we talked about, happen due to the lung damage caused by the highly infectious respiratory tract illness of COVID19.
The disease can lead to respiratory, physical, and psychological dysfunction in patients. Thus, pulmonary rehabilitation is crucial for both admitted and discharged patients of COVID19.
The latest reports show that the chief pathological changes in COVID19 patients are diffuse lung injuries. These are both for early and late-stage COVID patients. In case you do not know, diffuse lung injuries refer to the changes in the structure of lungs that happen due to a disease.
Follow-up studies have shown that even after discharge, patients can still suffer from restrictive lung dysfunction. Plus, exertional shortness of breath, persistent alveolitis, and pulmonary fibrosis, among other problems.
That is the evidence for the need for pulmonary rehabilitation programs for patients with COVID19.
A small sample study on discharged patients was done recently. They underwent three weeks of rehabilitation consisting of respiratory exercises and deep breathing.
Apart from these, they were doing low to medium intensity aerobic endurance exercises. And were getting pulmonary physiotherapy.
The results suggested that the perfusion rate of pulmonary function and level of shortness of breath calculated for this rehabilitation group was significantly improved compared to the control group.
When Should We Introduce Pulmonary Rehabilitation for a COVID19 Patient?
For a mild to moderate case of COVID19, we try to introduce the rehabilitation program as early as possible.
On the other hand, if a patient has a critical case of COVID 19, measures to save their life should get priority. That’s because, in such cases, their health is not stable and the disease is in progressive mode. So, lung rehabilitation gets introduced only when the patient's condition is stable.
Thoracic kyphosis may occur due to long-term shortness of breath, cough, etc. that happens as an effect of the coronavirus.
Also known as Hunchback, this condition refers to an abnormal forward rounding or curve in the spine. The condition can also bring with it some back pain and stiffness for the elder to suffer.
The work of breathing in patients with chronic pulmonary diseases often increases. This leads to the formation of abnormal breathing patterns.
This deformity (the hunchback) can inhibit airway clearance. And can also increase the work of breathing. So, it is important to incorporate physiotherapy.
The sessions of physiotherapy may include chest and muscle stretching with intensive training.
What Is the Goal of Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With COVID-19?
The short-term goal is to help the elder find relief from shortness of breath. Along with that, we also focus on relieving their anxiety and depression.
The long-term goal is to preserve the patient's body function to the largest extent. We focus on improving his/her quality of life and work towards making the lungs return to normalcy.
The success in achieving these goals is dependent on the comprehensive assessments done before starting the rehabilitation program.
What Are the Benefits of the Lung Rehab Program?
- Improvement in ability to exercise among patients who have chronic pulmonary diseases.
- Reduction in the number of hospital admissions and the length of hospital stays.
- Improvement in the function of the respiratory muscle and relief in shortness of breath.
- Relief in anxiety and depression related to the disease.
- Skeletal muscle function is enhanced in the upper and lower limbs.
- Increase in the elder’s quality of life in relation to health.
Our Team at Emoha Has Made the Lung Rehab Program a Success.
Pulmonary rehabilitation requires a team of multidisciplinary doctors. This is essential in order to provide evidence-based and high-quality support to a patient for complete recovery.
The team mainly includes pulmonologists. They do the assessments and create physiotherapy plans for the treatment of elders. The other primary component of this team is the physiotherapists who put the plan into action for the patient.
Our team of specialists includes:
Dr. Nitin Jain
MD & European Diploma in Intensive Care
Training In ECMO & Lung Transplant (Canada)
Dr. Vivek Singh
Fellowship Lung Transplant (Canada)
Dr. Pankaj Anand
Dr. AK Garg
MD (Consultant Physician & Diabetologist)
With this remarkable team, Emoha has been able to get a success rate of 70% in turning elder’s damaged lungs after the COVID19, back to normal lung capacity.
Have an elder at home? Is he/she recently diagnosed positive for COVID19? Or have they recovered from the disease? Whatever the case, you can contact us to help them get their lung capacity back to normal.
Call us at our toll-free number 1800-123-445555 today!