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St. Charles Hospital Develops COVID-19 Rehabilitation Program

September 15th, 2020
Physical Therapy

Many who have recovered from COVID-19 continue to experience long-lasting effects of the virus that range from breathing difficulties to the loss of strength and mobility.

To assist local residents in their recovery, Catholic Health Services’s St. Charles Hospital has developed a Post-COVID Outpatient Rehabilitation Program, which includes medically-supervised physical therapy for endurance training, strength training and education for patients who are at least 14 days past a COVID-19 diagnosis.

“Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may find they are unable to tolerate any type of activity,” said St. Charles Vice President of Rehabilitation Laura Beck. “They experience shortness of breath and weakness. These symptoms are seen in many people who have recovered from the virus whether or not they were on a ventilator.”

Recognizing a need to develop a program specific for patients who are dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19, the medical team at St. Charles used their experience in working with patients who have respiratory illnesses such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  

“The methods of how we treat patients with breathing difficulties have served as a framework for our COVID-19 rehabilitation program,” said the Director of St. Charles’s Rehabilitation Services Pattianne Ruppel. “We work with patients to develop an individualized program that fits their specific needs.”

Group sessions in the COVID-19 rehabilitation program are held twice weekly over a period of 4 weeks. Oxygen, blood pressure and heart rate levels will be monitored before, during and after exercising. Individual sessions are available with frequency and duration of the sessions to be determined based on an initial evaluation.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment please call (631) 474-6111.

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