KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Media OutReach – 16 February 2022 – The Health Ministry of Malaysia recently announced that long Covid-19 patients will undergo medical rehabilitation for extended period of time. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin mentioned Daehan Putrajaya Rehabilitation Hospital as one of the private hospitals capable of providing Long Covid rehab in Malaysia.
Daehan recently treated 16 patients recovering from severe Covid under the MOH decanting program. All of them required oxygen supplement upon admission. After 2-8 weeks of rehabilitation, all of them were discharged without the need of home oxygen therapy. 2 patients who were on tracheostomy (breathing tubes) no longer require them and 2 patients who were on tube feeding can now eat normally.
The remarkable clinical outcome has surprised even the doctors themselves. In the words of Dr Fazah Hanapiah, President of Daehan Rehabilitation Hospital in Putrajaya, “Many had expected to leave the hospital disabled, requiring oxygen therapy and assistance in all aspect of life activities after Covid-19 infection. Some had prepared to purchase wheelchairs and oxygen concentrators. However, with intensive post Covid rehabilitation, all our patients returned home without the need of home oxygen therapy. We want to provide the much-needed rehabilitation to all post Covid patients, so they too be given the opportunity for a new lease of life.”
One of Daehan’s patients, Yvonne was a transfer patient from Hospital Sungai Buloh who underwent 6 sessions of intensive in-patient rehabilitation with us. Initially falling prey to Covid-19 in August 2021, she was rendered bed-bound and even struggled to breathe sitting up. Her poor cardiorespiratory endurance was coupled by her inability to walk and her faster-than-normal heart rate – a known post Covid complication. Not only did she require oxygen supplements, but her condition necessitated emergency management.
After just one month in Daehan’s rehabilitative care, Yvonne is now able to carry out activities of daily living successfully and has confidently decided to return to work. During her time with us, her rehabilitation programme targeted pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation to improve cardiorespiratory function and endurance levels; strengthening exercises for her daily motor functions and gait training, all to equip her with skills for activities of daily living.
“I want to thank a lot of them, especially the man there (pointing to one of the therapists). He is the one who advised me not to be scared… to stand up and walk. […] He said, ‘You won’t fall down one’ […] and held my hand as I walked. […] So I [am very appreciative of all of them]” said Sheryl. Initially, she was very afraid of walking due to affected muscle tissues and nerves following her Covid infection. However, with the encouragement of the staff at Daehan, she practiced walking in her room slowly such that she was able to stand up and walk independently and confidently. “I think I can never forget you all because this was my first time in the ward and […] I am very happy to know all of you all“.
Currently, although she is under cardiology follow-ups, she has since been discharged and no longer requires oxygen supplements.
Another such patient, Kent (not his real name) was admitted under Daehan’s intensive daycare rehabilitation for a total of 6 sessions following his infection in mid-June 2021. 24 days of hospitalization after an ICU admission was enough to witness a deterioration in his condition, and a developing infection in his epidural space, which ultimately led to spinal cord compression. Upon admission to Daehan, he was paraplegic with poor lower-body balance due to impacted nerves and muscle tissues.
Difficulties in breathing and urinary drainage were just some of the problems he suffered from. However, after undergoing rehabilitation at Daehan Rehabilitation Hospital Putrajaya, he has now regained normal lower limb strength with better control and posture and now has continent bladder and bowel control. Although post-rehabilitation has witnessed a dramatic improvement in his ambulation abilities, he still relies on a walking frame for now. However, with continued efforts, he is likely to be able to ambulate independently.
His successful progress is attributable to Daehan’s iconic rehabilitation efforts (illustrated above) The marked improvement in both aforementioned patients’ conditions hold testament to Daehan’s rehabilitation efforts and speak of the trust the patients place in the hands of Daehan’s dedicated and well-trained staff.
As a part of the rehabilitation team, our therapists mentioned that planning interventions for post-Covid patients not only broadens up their mind in working as an interdisciplinary team but also empowers them to pass on their motivation to the patients so that they can regain their well-being of life.
Rachel Paulus, Daehan’s Head of Physiotherapy, explains: “Patients have told us how much we take certain things for granted, like breathing, because they felt so helpless when they have experienced the aftereffects of COVID-19. We as therapists are privileged to be able to give their life back to them and have learnt to never take things for granted. As intensive as our sessions are, we always keep in mind that rehabilitation is not a sprint where we aim to perform as much as we can in a single session, but a long distance run where we aim to achieve sustainable and long-term results together.”
ABOUT DAEHAN REHABILITATION HOSPITAL PUTRAJAYA
Opened in 2019, Daehan Rehabilitation Hospital Putrajaya is a stand-alone hospital located in Malaysia at the IOI City Resort and is an internationally accessible premier tertiary care hospital. Daehan offers comprehensive South Korean-style integrated rehabilitation services specializing in the management of complex rehabilitation.