KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 16 September 2021 - "Twenty percent of patients
recovering from COVID-19 will now require facility-based rehab", according to a
study released by the Journal of Rehabilitation of Medicine. With COVID-19
continuing to affect normal daily lives, those previously
infected can experience symptoms of "Long COVID"
referring to long-term symptoms of COVID-19 lingering for more than 12 weeks
after initial infection. Patients may experience cognitive dysfunction as well
as muscle loss. Alongside the oft-cited "Brain Fog", fatigability and shortness
of breath are a common complaint.
rehabilitation provides a solution. Currently, such services are being
redirected towards patients experiencing Long COVID symptoms. Studies are now
emerging that rehabilitative efforts successfully promote post-COVID-19
recovery. As Dr Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah, President of Daehan Rehabilitation
Hospital, observes, "It is predicted and becoming evident that Long COVID will
be of public health concern. If you do have Long COVID symptoms, regardless of
the chronicity, rehabilitation may help."
With experienced rehabilitation
physicians and 24/7 medical cover, Daehan Rehabilitation Hospital Putrajaya
("Daehan") is a unique, specialized hospital capable of addressing the complex
multisystem impairment often observed in post-COVID-19 survivors. Activities
that revolve around goal-oriented functional outcomes are being offered to
improve both physical and mental well-being of post-COVID-19 survivors.
Daehan fields a complete, multidisciplinary
team to address the complex characteristics of Long COVID. Combining the "Bio-psycho-social-physical-technological"
approach with well-established South Korean rehabilitation practices, the South
Korean trained therapists at Daehan are well equipped with the skills needed to
ameliorate the detrimental effects of the viral infection.
With varying post-COVID-19
symptoms, it is not uncommon that patients coming out of acute care will not
have left their beds in their many weeks of hospitalization. Simple activities
of daily living such as eating, talking and breathing could become laborious. Daehan employs multiple modes of therapy to help
them regain the lost strength, including:
- Physical Therapy to conduct
cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. The therapy may start at
the bedside, with stretching, strengthening and breathing exercises. Gradually,
the patients will be challenged towards higher intensity activities.
- Occupational Therapy to reclaim
activities of daily living (ADL). These activities encompass day-to-day motions
used for dressing, grooming, using the washroom and basic motor functions. They
also include neurostimulation activities and relaxation therapy to address cognitive
symptoms such as "Brain Fog", anxiety and depression. For those who were
working, return-to-work will be incorporated in the rehabilitation program as
- Speech & Language Therapy to
assist swallowing, speech and vocalisation, often provided in conjunction with
physical therapies. Re-learning how to control and strengthen breathing
influences voice quality.
Some acute patients,
discharged from prolonged ICU care, rely on tube feeding. Daehan's Dysphagia
(swallowing) program, via clinical evaluations and instrumental investigations,
allows many of them to do without tube feeding altogether. "Being able to eat
again and taste food is a crucial part of recovery and quality of life." Dr
To assist the patients' holistic
recovery, Daehan also offers dietary advice and nursing care as well as an
environment conducive to healing, including a garden therapy area, resort-style
family lounge and individualized concept rooms.
Long COVID can affect anyone
after a COVID-19 infection. Even those displaying only mild symptoms can suffer
from long-term side effects. According to a study from the Ministry of Health
in Malaysia, approximately 15% of COVID-19 patients suffer from severe forms of
infection (Category 4 and Category 5). Among those, 66% of them further suffer
from Long COVID symptoms. Daehan acts as a solution to those seeking a holistic
rehabilitation and comprehensive recovery from COVID-19 impairments.