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Case report
Postacute inpatient rehabilitation for COVID-19


This case describes the successful pulmonary rehabilitation of a premorbidly independent female in the early 80s who was admitted for acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to COVID-19 requiring 14 days of intubation. Patient was admitted to the acute rehabilitation unit 1 month after hospitalisation. Patient initially had poor endurance and was only able to ambulate with a front wheel walker for 150 feet, and also had tachycardia and decreased oxygen saturation after ambulation. During patient’s rehabilitation course, therapy was focused on improving activity tolerance. Ten days after admission, patient was able to ambulate without an assistive device for 250 feet and with a rollator for over 900 feet. Patient also showed improvement in gait speed, heart rate, oxygen saturation after ambulation and incentive spirometer volume. This case demonstrates that pulmonary rehabilitation is an important component of inpatient care for patients with COVID-19 to improve functional exercise capacity and aerobic capacity.

  • pneumonia (respiratory medicine)
  • physiotherapy (rehabilitation)
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • geriatric medicine

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