Management in Health, Vol 26, No 1 (2022)

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HOSPITALIZATION FOR POST-COVID-19 MEDICAL REHABILITATION, IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN ROMANIA, DURING APRIL 2020 AND SEPTEMBER 2021 – A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY

Mihaela GALAON, Marius CIUTAN

Abstract


Background: Starting with 2020, in many countries, the medical systems have been on high alert status  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The evolution of the disease was marked by periods of exacerbation and relaxation and an important contribution was made by the natural immunization of a large part of the population and the vaccination of many people so that, in 2022 there were fewer serious hospitalizations and deaths.

In Romania, SARS CoV-2 was one of the current challenges of the public health system. Society, the entire medical system, as well as many human and material resources were mobilized to detect, treat and monitor people with coronavirus.

Objective: The aim of this study is to provide valid evidences of hospitalization for medical rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19, who were hospitalized in Romania, and to emphasize the need for multidisciplinary assessement and further treatment of residual pathologies in this category of patients.

Methodology: A descriptive, retrospective study was performed using secondary patient-level data for the period April 2020-September 2021. The data used were extracted from the 2021 DRG National  database. Only hospitalized cases with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and which subsequently required a first episode of hospitalization in medical rehabilitation departments were included in the study.

Results: There were 567 hospitalized cases for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation. Most of the patients were hospitalized in the respiratory rehabilitation settings in various public hospitals, especially located in the Northwest and Northeast of the country. There were more cases in young people and adults (age group 18-64), respectively in men compared to women. The rehabilitation was mainly aimed at interventions in the respiratory system, but was also used for pathologies of the nervous, cardiovascular or musculoskeletal system. The majority of patients underwent physical therapy for the respiratory system, physical therapy for the whole body, and for the chest and/or abdominal muscles. Also, for more than half of the number of patients, therapeutic massage, respiratory tract drainage, and oxygen therapy were performed. The great majority (about 90%) of patients discharged with an improved condition, while very few were discharged completely cured.

Conclusions: For a more in-depth knowledge of this infectious pathology, clinical studies are needed to provide more data on morbidity and mortality hospitalized by COVID-19 in Romania, as well as efficiency studies associated with the measures and interventions implemented. Particular emphasis should also be placed on SARS-CoV2 infection prevention methods, vaccine types, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the assessment of COVID-19 patient management.

 

Keywords: COVID-19, medical rehabilitation, Romania, hospitalization

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