Continuum of Care for Patients with a Diagnosis of COVID-19 and Associated Upper Extremity Impairments: From ICU to Outpatient - Clinical Considerations for the Hand Therapy Community

Date/Time: Fri, October 2, 2020 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM


COVID-19 is a highly contagious, novel virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic in a relatively short period of time. While most are aware of the respiratory impact of the disease, preliminary data is showing a multi-system attack in moderate to severe cases that has implications for both the neurological and musculoskeletal systems. Factors such as patient comorbidities, positioning during ventilation, prolonged ICU stays and general isolation on hospital units are causing patients to require extensive rehabilitation across the continuum of care once in stable condition. The purpose of this panel is to discuss the care and rehabilitation of patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms as they transition from the ICU to outpatient therapy. Clinical observations and considerations for the hand therapy community will be shared based on three clinicians' experiences who worked for a large city hospital system at the epicenter of the North American COVID-19 outbreak.


  • Participants will demonstrate an increased understanding of the care and management of patients who have experienced severe symptoms leading to hospitalization as a result of COVID-19.

  • Participants will be able to describe and identify possible musculoskeletal and neurological injuries to the upper extremity (UE) being seen in moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.

  • Participants will recognize the importance of monitoring endurance and energy exertion when treating patients recovering from COVID-19 across the continuum of care.