Nutrition and sport and exercise

students working with clients in a rehabilitation exercise class 4

Monitoring recovery from Covid-19

The University of Brighton’s Dr Alan Richardson is working with hospitals in Sussex and Surrey on research which will support the long-term recovery of critically ill patients who have received intensive care treatment for coronavirus.

The study is in conjunction with University of Brighton and Brighton and Sussex Medical School alumnus Dr Todd Leckie and Intensive Care consultant Dr Luke Hodgson, who both work for the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at Worthing Hospital.

Approximately 100 patients who have successfully received care for COVID-19 in Intensive Care will have their physical health monitored by receiving follow-up appointments with doctors, physiotherapists and nurses three months after being discharged from hospital, six months and again one year after.

Each consenting patient will be given remote exercise rehabilitation plans and advice and will be given a fitness watch to track their physical activities to see how their body is responding having previously contracted the virus.

A smiling Dr Alan Richardson wearing a navy tshirt

Dr Alan Richardson

The research is ultimately aiming to look at whether critically ill patients who have been on a ventilator, whether that is from coronavirus or not, can benefit from remote prescribed exercise following their discharge from hospital.

Dr Richardson, Principal Lecturer in the School of Sport and Service Management, said: “It’s basically a form of socially distanced exercise rehabilitation. We’re trying to look at how they medically get on one-year after Covid-19 and whether they do better by being active, adhering to remote physiotherapy and motivational support.

“We know that those who have had serious respiratory issues caused by coronavirus, who have been on a ventilator, will have their ability to exercise severely affected. We are trying to improve their recovery by encouraging progressive physical exercise, albeit at a much lighter level than before”.

Patients and their families, as well as the health professionals involved in their care, will also be interviewed over the course of a year.

Kerry Burnett • May 1, 2020

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