The Physiotherapy Respiratory Service role in Cavan Hospital’s management of COVID-19

As part of the preparations for the COVID-19 outbreak the Respiratory Physiotherapy Team was requested to provide training and support to our nursing colleagues on CPAP/NIV, high flow oxygen therapy, the respiratory management of a patient with COVID-19 and tracheostomy management. As part of this training a series of videos were put together and distributed throughout all wards in the hospital as a resource tool.

The Respiratory Physiotherapy Team have been involved in the development of several pathways in consultation with our medical colleagues such as the management of a COVID-19 positive tracheostomy patient and the acute respiratory management of a COVID-19 positive patient.

Face-to-face training sessions were provided daily on each ward for a number of weeks in relation to the management of a patient on CPAP/NIV and high flow nasal oxygen therapy. In order to facilitate patient flow out of ICU, face-to-face tracheostomy training sessions were provided to nursing staff on Medical 1 and Surgical 2.

The physiotherapy respiratory service was expanded to include 24/7 cover which has enabled a physiotherapist to be present throughout the night. This has involved nightly reviews of patients highlighted as needing chest physiotherapy input and providing advice and support to nursing colleagues on the ward outside of normal working hours.