COVID-19 and Post-Intensive Care Syndrome

As much as we all want to close our eyes and be far away from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that the end isn’t in sight. It’s apparent that more than ever we need to care for one another and be aware that some people may have lasting symptoms from COVID-19. From the rehabilitative stand-point we are aware that a portion of patients who live through intensive care treatment in hospitals will have lasting symptoms after discharge. These collective symptoms are called “Post-Intensive Care Syndrome” or PICS.

Physical symptoms of PICS range from reduced balance, reduced respiratory function, reduced muscle strength, and impeded gait speed. It’s imperative that patients with PICS receive the rehabilitative care needed to return to daily living. Studies show that for some patients recovery post ICU-discharge may take 6 months to a year. This is not a new condition that has arisen because of COVID-19, rather it’s something that patients have experienced after being on a ventilator, for whatever reason, for any given amount of time.

At I CAN PT, we spend at least an hour with each patient, discussing any concerns they may have and evaluating any changes that occurred since the last therapy visit. Treating patients with PICS, like most conditions, are not treated out of a textbook. Each individual is going to need something different from the next and we do our best to evaluate and adjust treatment plans based on those assessments, no matter the condition a patient has.

If you want to know more about PICS, follow the links below: