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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-80

Postintensive care syndrome after severe COVID-19 respiratory illness and functional outcomes: Experience from the rehabilitation hospital in Qatar

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sami Ullah
MBBS, FCPS (PMR), Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.JISPRM-000144

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Objective: This study aimed to observe functional outcomes post coronavirus disease (COVID) rehabilitation in COVID-19 patients with postintensive care syndrome (PICS). Methods: We present 13 cases of severe COVID-19 pneumonia who required prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and were later admitted to our rehabilitation institute with features of PICS and functional disability, during the months of July and August 2020. All these patients underwent a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program and are the first group of patients successfully discharged to the community. Results: Among 13 patients presented, 11 were male patients and 2 were female, in the age range 34–64 years. Ten out of 13 patients had at least one chronic illness such as diabetes mellitus, systemic hypertension, dyslipidemia, obstructive airway disease, and coronary artery disease, and seven among them had more than one illness. None of them had any known neuropsychiatric illnesses. All of them had severe pneumonia which required mechanical ventilation from 12 to 30 days and an average length of ICU stay of 36 days (Range 21–54 days). The most common impairments on rehabilitation admission were impaired exercise tolerance with poor scores in Modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea scale and desaturation on 40-step walking test, as well as significant ICU acquired weakness with a Medical Research Council (MRC) sum score in the range of 30–46 out of 60. Eight out of 13 patients had critical illness myopathy and/or neuropathy diagnosed with neuro-electrodiagnostic testing. The average length of stay for the patients in rehabilitation was 36 days, with a range of 18–65 days. Conclusion: Early multidisciplinary rehabilitation has got a potential benefit in the functional outcome of COVID-19 survivors. More studies are required in this area to further evaluate the benefits of different rehabilitation interventions, their intensity, duration, long-term benefits, and to create guidelines for addressing similar situations in the future.

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