The Open Public Health Journal

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Chest Physiotherapy in Patients Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit With COVID-19: A Review

Lajwanti Lalwani1, *, Gyanshankar Mishra2, Abhay Gaidhane3, Nazli Quazi4, Amar Taksande4
1 Dept. of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, Ravi Nair Physiotherapy College(RNPC), Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Science(DMIMS), Sawangi, Wardha, India
2 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College & Hospital, Nagpur, India
3 Department of of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi, Wardha, India
4 Department of Physiology,Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi, Wardha, India
5 Department of Pediatrics, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Science,Sawangi,Wardha, India


COVID-19, also commonly known as coronavirus, is presently declared a pandemic disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This disease is transmitted by close contact with infected patients who are either asymptomatic or symptomatic. About 5% of COVID-19 patients are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and present with either pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Chest physiotherapy may be provided to some patients admitted in ICU who may be broadly classified into the following two groups: 1. Patients suspected or infected with COVID-19 with no underlying lung disease (Other than COVID-19) & 2. Patients suspected or infected with COVID-19 with underlying lung disease (Other than COVID-19). Generally, asymptomatic patients do not require chest physiotherapy, but symptomatic patients do. This literature review discusses the various chest physiotherapy techniques related to body positioning, breathing, airway clearance, and mobilization that can be provided to COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU. More importantly, precautions to be taken by the physiotherapist involved in the care of COVID-19 patients in the ICU have also been reviewed.

Keywords: COVID-19, Chest physiotherapy, Intensive care unit, Symptomatic patients, Lung disease, Pandemic.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2021
Volume: 14
Issue: Suppl-1, M6
First Page: 145
Last Page: 148
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-14-145
DOI: 10.2174/1874944502114010145

Article History:

Received Date: 16/6/2020
Revision Received Date: 23/11/2020
Acceptance Date: 12/12/2020
Electronic publication date: 22/03/2021
Collection year: 2021

© 2021 Lalwani. et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Dept. of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, RNPC, DMIMS, Sawangi, Wardha, India; Tel: 8605234269; E-mail:

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