Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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'Post-COVID unit offers place for patients to recover'

'Post-COVID unit offers place for patients to recover'

Patients who have been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to COVID-19 can experience post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) which involves health problems that may persist after discharge from the unit. Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, Qatar National lead for Healthy Ageing and Medical Director at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, advised that post-COVID patients often face key challenges during their treatment period. “In line with findings from around the world, we have experienced that patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms are more likely to experience ongoing general body weakness, cognitive or brain dysfunction and even mental health conditions after they have recovered from the initial COVID-19 infection. This is especially prevalent for patients who have been in a coma in an ICU,” Dr Hamad said. “The timeliness of this facility has benefited several post-COVID-19 patients who have relied on professional rehabilitation to help them recover their mobility following a protracted period of illness with more severe symptoms. We have had several patients who transferred to QRI from one of the intensive care units in a COVID-19 facility. Although these patients no longer had the virus, the severity of the illness, especially if they were in an induced coma to be mechanically ventilated, has led to significant physical deterioration that requires special therapies, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, for the patient to regain basic skills,” added Dr Hamad. Dr Rafat Saad, chairperson of the Adult Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at QRI, explained that Post-COVID unit offers a place for patients to recover from the serious complications of the disease. “This inpatient unit focuses on the recovery of patients who no longer have COVID-19 but experience resulting healthcare problems, including delirium, shortness of breath, pulmonary fibrosis, critical care myopathy and other debilitating impacts on their health. The unit provides rehabilitation sessions to help patients regain abilities and skills to their maximum possible potential,” she said.

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