When the physician Ronaldo Reis Fontoura, 57, left the hospital after more than two months in the hospital with Covid-19, much of that time intubated, he couldn’t even lift a pen, let alone sign his own name. The first time he walked, he only took four steps. Today, four months later, he has calmly signed his name and walks almost normally, but he still feels tired and continues in rehabilitation at the LPR, Human Performance Laboratory of the Casa de Saúde São José, in Rio de Janeiro, with the right to ride , hiking and weight training. Because exercise is a remedy for symptoms of the so-called long covid, characterized by the persistence of symptoms even after many days, weeks and months after the end of the coronavirus infection.
Even athletes like Olympic beach volleyball champion Bruno Schmidt or former athletes like men’s volleyball coach Renan Dal Zotto have suffered from the syndrome. And it is this story that reporter André Gallindo told this last Thursday (11/18) in Jornal Nacional, with images by Genito Jr. and Rafael Zambe, produced by Flávia Ribeiro and technical support by Raphael Cyrne and Vinícius Dias.
+ Post-Covid Syndrome: exercise, nutrition and breathing in recovery
+ When to go back to exercise and sports after getting Covid-19?
A study by researchers at the American Penn State University, published on the Jama Network, revealed that more than half of people who had covid-19 continue with symptoms of long covid, to a greater or lesser degree. And that percentage is even higher for people who were hospitalized and intubated. The data match the analysis made by cardiologist Fabrício Braga, from the Human Performance Laboratory, who is developing a study based on the rehabilitation care of 900 patients seen at the clinic. Of them, even among the 392 who had no prior comorbidities, 42.9% arrived with reduced exercise capacity: 61% due to physical deconditioning, 25% due to cardiac sequelae, 10% due to pulmonary sequelae and 4% by a set of two or three of these causes.
– Fundamentally, there are millions of people tired after the covid. Difficult to work, to hold his grandson on his lap, to climb a flight of stairs. And that limits quality of life and life expectancy. What happens is that the muscle does not use oxygen correctly after covid. It tells the brain that it is contracting for exercise, for movement, but the brain can no longer dilate the vessels to send blood as it did before. For these people, the remedy is simply to get back to exercise. But, in the beginning, this must be done in a monitored way, in addition to gradual – explains Fabricio.
Below, find out about some health facilities that offer free rehabilitation for long covid.
Renan Dal Zotto gets the covid vaccine in June, a few months after his admission — Photo: Instagram
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 267 Specialized Rehabilitation Centers (CER) in 26 states and the Federal District treating patients with symptoms of long covid. The patient must first go through basic health units, and then be referred for treatment.
Sarah Network of Rehabilitation Hospitals – Units in Brasília (two), São Luís (MA), Salvador (BA), Belo Horizonte (MG), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Fortaleza (CE), Macapá (AP) and Belém ( PAN). Registration for service through the website.
Projeto Com Vida – A network of volunteer specialists that care for patients with sequelae throughout the country, including physical therapy treatment. Registration for service through the website.
UniBH School of Physiotherapy – Although the faculty is private, post-covid care is provided free of charge. For this, it is necessary to request the screening through the telephones 31 3319-9345 or 31 99299-0405.
Hospital Universitário de Brasília (HUB) – Assistance after medical referral from a professional from the public network, with registration through the HUB’s appointment center, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, by calling (61) 2028-5210.
Ceará Care House at the Hotel Recanto Wirapuru – The Hotel was leased by the Ceará Health Department (Sesa). Patients are referred by hospitals in the state and municipal health networks, but care is restricted to those who have been admitted and need to undergo a transitional rehabilitation between hospital and return home.
Post-Covid-19 Rehabilitation clinic at the IAPI Health Center (Rua Três de Abril, 90, Passo d’Areia district). The referral is carried out after consultation at the health units.
Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre. The referral is also carried out after consultation at the health units.
Post-Covid Multidisciplinary Care Center at the Pedro Ernesto University Hospital (Hupe), on Boulevard 28 de Setembro 125, in Vila Isabel. The referral is made directly by the hospitals where the patients were hospitalized or through appointments by the State Regulation System (SER), based on the demands of primary care units, such as health posts.
Expected to open in December:
Post-Covid Rehabilitation Center at Hospital Ronaldo Gazzolla – Av. Pastor Martin Luther King Júnior, 10.976 – Acari, Rio de Janeiro. The appointment will be made by the Regulation System (SISREG), based on the demands of the primary care units.
Post-Covid Outpatient Clinic at the Octávio Mangabeira Specialized Hospital (HEOM). Appointments can be made by calling (71) 3117-1677 or by email [email protected]
Lucy Montoro Rehabilitation Network, from the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, USP (HCFMUSP) – The five units in the city of São Paulo and another 13 spread across other cities in São Paulo carry out post-rehabilitation covid. Patients are referred after assistance in basic health units (UBSs) via the Center for Regulation of Offer of Health Services (CROSS).