COVID-19 – my experience as a respiratory physio

This week’s blog is my Emma Tucker (@emtucks), Post COVID Rehabilitation Specialist/Service Lead from the Oxford Long Covid Service

Back in June 2020 I was invited to speak in front of a room full of senior managers to discuss how we were going to be able to deal with the onslaught of patients being discharged from hospital with likely lung fibrosis. I’ve got a long background of treating patients with COPD and asthma, doing regular exercise and education classes; Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Apparently, this meant I would know how to be able to deal with this… What I can tell you is what came next certainly was not what I expected!

We started to accept referrals via GP’s for people who had acute COVID in the community that were a lot younger then the hospitalised cohort, but were continuing to experience significant problems with breathlessness and fatigue. My usual approach of exercise and ‘go go go’ was challenged, as this certainly did not seem to be the correct approach for these growing numbers of individuals.

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