02 Jan 2021
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation;
Publish Ahead of Print
ABSTRACT: Post-acute COVID-19 patients are at risk of long-term functional impairment and the rehabilitation community is calling for action preparing for a "tsunami of rehabilitation needs" in this patient population. In the absence of standard guidelines and local evidence, we successfully delivered a three-week pulmonary tele-rehabilitation programme to a post-acute severe COVID-19 patient in Malawi. The patient suffered from persistent dyspnoea and fatigue, with a remarkable impact on his health status. On the final assessment, all his respiratory severity scores had fallen by more than their thresholds for clinical significance. He reported no continued or new complaints, was walking longer distances, had returned to work, and was discharged from follow-up. Our case shows that an improvised pulmonary tele-rehabilitation programme for post-acute COVID-19 patients could be feasible and acceptable in a low-resource setting. Benefits include reducing risk of transmission and use of personal protective equipment.