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1.
Life (Basel) ; 12(1)2022 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638812

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine (TM)-the management of disease at a distance-has potential usefulness for patients with advanced respiratory disease. Underscoring this potential is the dramatic expansion of its applications in clinical medicine. However, since clinical studies testing this intervention often provide heterogeneous results, its role in the medical management of respiratory disorders remains inconclusive. A major problem in establishing TM's effectiveness is that it is not a single intervention; rather, it includes a number of divergent diagnostic and therapeutic modalities-and each must be tested separately. Reflecting the discord between the need for further documentation of its approaches and effectiveness and its rapid utilization without this needed information, a major challenge is the lack of international guidelines for its integration, regulation, operational plans, and guidance for professionals. Tailored TM, with increased flexibility to address differing healthcare contexts, has the potential to improve access to and quality of services while reducing costs and direct input by health professionals. We should view TM as a tool to aid healthcare professionals in managing their patients with respiratory diseases rather than as a stand-alone substitute to traditional medical care. As such, TM is a means rather than an end.

2.
J Cardiovasc Dev Dis ; 9(1)2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613840

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is uncertain whether exposure to renin-angiotensin system (RAS) modifiers affects the severity of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because most of the available studies are retrospective. METHODS: We tested the prognostic value of exposure to RAS modifiers (either angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors [ACE-Is] or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) in a prospective study of hypertensive patients with COVID-19. We analyzed data from 566 patients (mean age 75 years, 54% males, 162 ACE-Is users, and 147 ARBs users) hospitalized in five Italian hospitals. The study used systematic prospective data collection according to a pre-specified protocol. All-cause mortality during hospitalization was the primary outcome. RESULTS: Sixty-six patients died during hospitalization. Exposure to RAS modifiers was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of in-hospital mortality when compared to other BP-lowering strategies (odds ratio [OR]: 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.32 to 0.90, p = 0.019). Exposure to ACE-Is was not significantly associated with a reduced risk of in-hospital mortality when compared with patients not treated with RAS modifiers (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.36 to 1.20, p = 0.172). Conversely, ARBs users showed a 59% lower risk of death (OR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.20 to 0.84, p = 0.016) even after allowance for several prognostic markers, including age, oxygen saturation, occurrence of severe hypotension during hospitalization, and lymphocyte count (adjusted OR: 0.37, 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.80, p = 0.012). The discontinuation of RAS modifiers during hospitalization did not exert a significant effect (p = 0.515). CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study indicates that exposure to ARBs reduces mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

3.
Telemed J E Health ; 2021 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360330

ABSTRACT

Background: In the first few months of 2020, Lombardy was the hardest-hit region in Italy for COVID-19 cases. Our Rehabilitation Institute offered a telemedicine service to COVID-19 patients discharged after hospitalization. Methods: Patients transferred from Emergency, Intensive Care, and Pulmonology departments of the principal regional hospital hubs had an average stay in our hospital of 2-3 weeks. On discharge, at home, they underwent a telecare nursing and specialist teleconsultation program for 3 months, including monitoring of vital signs and symptoms. Patients completed the SF-12 questionnaire at the start and end of the program and rated their satisfaction with it. Results: The program involved 130 patients (51%). During the period, there were 14 ± 2 (1,800 in total) telenursing support phone calls per patient made, and 12.5 ± 3.4 oxygen saturation readings per patient (1,631 in total). Persisting symptoms, frequently in combination, were present at the start of the program in 124 (94%) patients. There was a significant reduction of symptoms (p < 0.0000) after the telecare program. The physical component of SF-12 significantly improved at the end [Δ(t1-t0) = 6.7 ± 9.3, p < 0.0001]. On the contrary, the mental component of SF-12 remained unchanged or decreased slightly in patients ≤70 years of age [Δ(t1-t0) = -2.7 ± 12.3, ns], while it decreased significantly [Δ(t1-t0) = -5.4 ± 12.4, p = 0.0367] in older patients (although remaining mild). Patient satisfaction with the program was very high in all 130 patients. Conclusions: Our Telehealth and Telecare Service offers an example of rapid scaling and adaptation of an existing program to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients. Our findings indicate that telemedicine can be an integral part of clinical practice if supported by the institution with training and IT support provided to patients, nurses, and clinicians.

4.
J Clin Med ; 10(12)2021 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264481

ABSTRACT

We evaluated vascular dysfunction with the single passive leg movement test (sPLM) in 22 frail elderly patients at 84 + 31 days after hospitalization for COVID-19 pneumonia, compared to 22 age-, sex- and comorbidity-matched controls (CTRL). At rest, all COVID-19 patients were in stable clinical condition without severe comorbidities. Patients (aged 72 ± 6 years, 73% male) had moderate disability (Barthel index score 77 ± 26), hypoxemia and normocapnia at arterial blood gas analysis and mild pulmonary restriction at spirometry. Values of circulating markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein: CRP; erythrocyte sedimentation rate: ESR) and coagulation (D-dimer) were: 27.13 ± 37.52 mg/dL, 64.24 ± 32.37 mm/1 h and 1043 ± 729 ng/mL, respectively. At rest, femoral artery diameter was similar in COVID-19 and CTRL (p = 0.16). On the contrary, COVID-19 infection deeply impacted blood velocity (p = 0.001) and femoral blood flow (p < 0.0001). After sPLM, peak femoral blood flow was dramatically reduced in COVID-19 compared to CTRL (p = 0.001), as was blood flow ∆peak (p = 0.05) and the area under the curve (p < 0.0001). This altered vascular responsiveness could be one of the unknown components of long COVID-19 syndrome leading to fatigue, changes in muscle metabolism and fibers' composition, exercise intolerance and increased cardiovascular risk. Impact of specific treatments, such as exercise training, dietary supplements or drugs, should be evaluated.

5.
Eur J Intern Med ; 89: 81-86, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209445

ABSTRACT

AIMS: heart failure (HF) and coronary artery disease (CAD) are independent predictors of death in patients with COVID-19. The adverse prognostic impact of the combination of HF and CAD in these patients is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: we analysed data from 954 consecutive patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 in five Italian Hospitals from February 23 to May 22, 2020. The study was a systematic prospective data collection according to a pre-specified protocol. All-cause mortality during hospitalization was the outcome measure. Mean duration of hospitalization was 33 days. Mortality was 11% in the total population and 7.4% in the group without evidence of HF or CAD (reference group). Mortality was 11.6% in the group with CAD and without HF (odds ratio [OR]: 1.6, p = 0.120), 15.5% in the group with HF and without CAD (OR: 2.3, p = 0.032), and 35.6% in the group with CAD and HF (OR: 6.9, p<0.0001). The risk of mortality in patients with CAD and HF combined was consistently higher than the sum of risks related to either disorder, resulting in a significant synergistic effect (p<0.0001) of the two conditions. Age-adjusted attributable proportion due to interaction was 64%. Adjusting for the simultaneous effects of age, hypotension, and lymphocyte count did not significantly lower attributable proportion which persisted statistically significant (p = 0.0360). CONCLUSION: The combination of HF and CAD exerts a marked detrimental impact on the risk of mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, which is independent on other adverse prognostic markers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronary Artery Disease , Heart Failure , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis ; 91(4)2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178486

ABSTRACT

The present case report describes middle-time course of respiratory and physical variables in eight Covid-19 patients who were transferred from ICU of Covid Hub in our subacute Covid-19 unit. Secondly they were admitted in a pulmonary rehabilitation unit and, at discharge, a tele-rehabilitation program was provided as a continuum of care at home. Time course of oxygenation, physical function and disability were recorded. As expected, the acute event produced in these patients a dramatic worsening in oxygenation and physical activities, with a substantial improvement in oxygenation and mild disability after the sub-acute stay. After rehabilitation program, the patients showed additional improvement in particular in physical function. Anyway, this recover was not complete for all patients. The majority of Covid-19 survivors experienced ARF recovered oxygenation, physical function and disability within a median time of 137 days. A minority needs further follow up and rehabilitation maintenance due to incomplete recovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Patient Discharge , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Clin Nurs ; 30(7-8): 952-960, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066726

ABSTRACT

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To document the level of frailty in sub-acute COVID-19 patients recovering from acute respiratory failure and investigate the associations between frailty, assessed by the nurse using the Blaylock Risk Assessment Screening Score (BRASS), and clinical and functional patient characteristics during hospitalisation. BACKGROUND: Frailty is a major problem in patients discharged from acute care, but no data are available on the frailty risk in survivors of COVID-19 infection. DESIGN: A descriptive cross-sectional study (STROBE checklist). METHODS: At admission to sub-acute care in 2020, 236 COVID-19 patients (median age 77 years - interquartile range 68-83) were administered BRASS and classified into 3 levels of frailty risk. The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) was also administered to measure physical function and disability. Differences between BRASS levels and associations between BRASS index and clinical parameters were analysed. RESULTS: The median BRASS index was 14.0 (interquartile range 9.0-20.0) denoting intermediate frailty (32.2%, 41.1%, 26.7% of patients exhibited low, intermediate and high frailty, respectively). Significant differences emerged between the BRASS frailty classes regards to sex, comorbidities, history of cognitive deficits, previous mechanical ventilation support and SPPB score. Patients with no comorbidities (14%) exhibited low frailty (BRASS: median 5.5, interquartile range 3.0-12.0). Age ≥65 years, presence of comorbidities, cognitive deficit and SPPB % predicted <50% were significant predictors of high frailty. CONCLUSIONS: Most COVID-19 survivors exhibit substantial frailty and require continuing care after discharge from acute care. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The BRASS index is a valuable tool for nurses to identify those patients most at risk of frailty, who require a programme of rehabilitation and community reintegration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Nurse's Role , Nursing Assessment , Subacute Care , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/nursing , COVID-19/rehabilitation , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Frailty/nursing , Humans , Male , Risk Assessment/methods , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis ; 90(2)2020 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324230

ABSTRACT

Due to COVID-19 outbreak, to lighten the burden of acute and critical care hospitals, some respiratory rehabilitation departments have been used to host patients with COVID-19 in the post-acute phase. This new and unexpected situation required a change of roles and scheduling of the rehabilitation teams. In this manuscript we describe the unexpected and urgent organizational change of the Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation (CPR) service during the COVID-19 emergency in a Northern Italian rehabilitation hospital, focusing on the Respiratory Physiotherapists' (RPTs) role. A quick three-days complete reorganization of the entire hospital was needed. A COVID-19 care team including a multidisciplinary panel of physicians, nurses, and RPTs was quickly performed to manage 90 beds for post acute patients with COVID-19. Within the team, the RPTs changed their shifts, so as to be available 16h per day, 7 days out of 7. Remodelled tasks in charge of RPTs were: oxygen therapy daily monitoring, non invasive ventilation (NIV) and continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) delivery, pronation and postural changes to improve oxygenation, reconditioning with leg/arm cranking and exercises, initial and final patients' functional assessment by short-physical performance battery (SPPB) and 1-minute sit-to-stand test (1-STS) to evaluate motor conditions and exercise-induced oxygen desaturation. Three "what-to-do" algorithms were developed to guide: i) oxygen de-escalation by reducing inhaled fraction of oxygen (FiO2); ii) oxygenation improvement through the use of Venturi mask; iii) reconditioning and physical activity. One-hundred seventy patients were treated in one month. As main topics, RPTs have been involved in oxygen therapy management in almost a third of the admitted patients, reconditioning exercises in 60% of the cases, and initial and final functional motor capacity assessment in all patients. Details of activities performed by the RPT in one typical working day are also shown. Our reorganization has exploited the professional skills and clinical expertise of the RPTs. This re-organization can provide practical insights to other facilities that are facing this crisis, and may be a starting point for implementing post-COVID-19 rehabilitation. Future studies will have to improve and review this organization.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/rehabilitation , Pneumonia, Viral/rehabilitation , Respiratory Insufficiency/rehabilitation , Respiratory Therapy/methods , COVID-19 , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Humans , Italy , Noninvasive Ventilation , Pandemics , Physical Therapy Modalities , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Therapy/trends , SARS-CoV-2
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