Bari, December 5, 2020 – The youngest is 36 years old. The elder is only over 70. After the acute phase of Covid’s disease, patients go to the gym for the first time in the province of Bari to restore their breathing ability. It takes place in Terlizzi, Sarcone’s post-acute care unit, the reference center for the treatment of respiratory diseases in the ASL Bari regional Covid network.
Eight patients arrived on 1 December with dyspnoea and movement disorders. Today, in a few days, I can walk independently, breathe regularly and exercise in the gym. The Terlizzi Pneumatic Rehabilitation Unit currently admits 11 patients, 8 of whom are in fact already in a position to handle autonomous respiratory rehabilitation programs, which are essential in the recovery phase. In complete autonomy and under the constant supervision of specialists, patients who are still positive perform motor movement exercises aimed at facilitating their normalization.
“Even in younger patients, Covid’s disease can lead to shortness of breath and loss of muscle tone,” explains Dr. Maria Liaci, geriatrician and pulmonologist at ASL Bari. .
A team of pulmonologists, physiotherapists and geriatricians uses innovative materials and tools to activate respiratory rehabilitation programs. The latest technology is a continuous monitoring center, through which it is possible to always monitor the vital parameters of patients suffering from respiratory problems and to facilitate the resumption of normal daily activities.
“Each rehabilitation program is prepared based on the patient’s history and pathology of arrival – continues pulmonologist Liaci – meaning that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment method, but each individual case is treated according to the subjective circumstances of the patient.”
The gym is equipped with a range of equipment such as a treadmill (jogging mat), bicycle (electric pedal), multi-parameter monitors, workstations for breathing gymnastics, effortless ladders, posture drainage table, phlegm aspiration tools for bronchi and assisted cough.
“Breath rehabilitation, in addition to therapy to restore all vital functions that the patient has lost during the viral infection, is an important aid in improving the quality of life. and to regain relational skills – says Dr. ASL Hospital Director Angela Leaci – due to direct contact with a physiotherapist, after isolation of the acute phase of the disease. Therefore, at the subjective psychological level, it provides important support for the understanding of clinical improvement and the relationship aspect.
Terlizzi PPA underwent a transformation process, in particular in the long-term care and pneumological rehabilitation units, which were also equipped with oxygen therapy. Inbound and outbound routes were redesigned, filtration areas were prepared, staff clothing and undressing facilities were created, and stocks of personal protective equipment were obtained. Currently, the hospital can rely on the activation of 40 Covid beds.