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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 43-46

Immediate effect of therapeutic positioning and breathing exercises on oxygen saturation in critically ill non-intubated COVID-19 patients: A retrospective study

1 Physiotherapy School & Centre, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medicine, Seth GSMC & KEMH, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Mariya P Jiandani
Physiotherapy School & Centre, Seth GSMC & KEMH, Parel, Mumbai 12, Maharashtra.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jsip.jsip_2_21

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Background: COVID-19 presents with symptoms of fever, headache, dry cough, and dyspnea. Acute hypoxemic respiratory failure is the most common complication occurring in 60%–70% of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Positioning and breathing exercise formed the mainstay of physiotherapy intervention in patients admitted to COVID ICU. This was primarily aimed at reducing the ventilation/perfusion mismatch. The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze the immediate effect of breathing exercise and positioning on oxygen saturation (SpO2). Materials and Methods: The available data of COVID-19 patients admitted to an ICU of a tertiary care hospital in Mumbai from June 5 to July 5, 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Demographics and mode of oxygen delivery were noted. Changes in SpO2 after positioning and breathing exercises during a single session of treatment were analyzed using Wilcoxon paired signed-rank test with a level of significance at P < 0.05. Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in SpO2 after breathing exercises and prone positioning in all patients on oxygen supplementation. Side-lying positioning showed an improvement in oxygen saturation in patients who were on non-invasive ventilation and facemask. Conclusion: Both breathing exercises and positioning show an immediate improvement in oxygen saturation in patients with COVID-19.

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