A number of health professionals including the Physiotherapists are working day and night across the country and are at the helm of nation’s fight back against COVID-19. Physiotherapists at PGIMER Chandigarh are working to the fullest of their capacity for smooth recovery of COVID patients. Chhewang Dorje, one of the Physiotherapists presently posted at COVID ICU PGIMER Chandigarh states that Physiotherapists are important members in the health team to ensure overall optimum care of patients at any level of healthcare settings. He further adds that as far as COVID patients are concerned, not all infected patients at acute stage require the Physiotherapy intervention. Further, most of the patients recover spontaneously either showing no symptoms at all or after showing mild to moderate symptoms whilefew patients require oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation. Those patients who develop Chest complications such as Pneumonia with sputum retention and copius secretion production require Physiotherapy intervention. Here Physiotherapists help the patients for productive cough with various postural drainage positions and manual techniques. Those patients on ventilator support are helped by oral and tracheal suctioning. Though the role of inspiratory muscle training and incentive spitometery in acute COVID patients with predominant symptoms of dry cough is not well established till now but in the long run, it is found to be very effective to restore the normal cardiopulmonary strength and endurance. Working in close proximity of the Covid 19 patients while providing the intervention services, the Physiotherapists are always at risk because Respiratory Physiotherapy intervention may lead to aerosol production and thus enhancing the chances of spread in infection for health professionals. Apart from this, Physiotherapists also have indispensable role to play for overall optimum recovery of Covid 19 patients having comorbid muscular, neurological and orthopaedic conditions. Giving an example he explains that a post operative patient in COVID ICU was initially very apprehensive for Physiotherapy session but the comfort in breathing which the patient felt after the session not only made the patient more receptive but also gave a sense of satisfaction and motivation to the health professional. Cheewang Dorjee futher adds that Psychological counseling and support to COVID patients during and after the recovery is equally important.
Sharing his view on working in a COVID hospital, he says that being a healthcare professional, he is performing his duty only and he alongwith other health care professionals are trying day in and day out to save maximum number of human lives from the clutches of Covid 19 pandemic.
Sandeep Negi ,the Senior Physiotherapist ,also highlighted the active role being played by the PGIMER physiotherapy students in creating awareness amongst the masses regarding measures for prevention of Covid 19 and importance of physical activity during Lockdown by adequately utilising the social media platform. Anirudh Uniyal has contributed by writing articles and making videos covering topics like- Corona Virus- Definition & Prevention, Role of India & its citizens in defeating Corona virus, Hand Sanitization etc . Another student Shivam Sharma is promoting different exercise protocols for youth during lockdown period.
In these testing times, the physiotherapy faculty and students have come together pooling in all their services and time so that We Defeat Covid.