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      COVID-19 and Inpatient Rehabilitation Nursing Care: Lessons Learned and Implications for the Future

      research-article

      , PhD, RN, CRRN, CCM, NEA-BC, FAHA, FARN, FAAN 1 , , DNP, RN, ANP-bC, FNP, CRRN 2 , , DNP, RN, CRRN, CNL, FARN 3

      Rehabilitation Nursing

      Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

      COVID-19, pandemic, rehabilitation nursing, inpatient rehabilitation

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          Abstract

          The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting post-acute inpatient rehabilitation nursing practice from preadmission assessment to inpatient care delivery and transition planning. Patients with disability following COVID-19 require interventions to address respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, musculoskeletal, and psychosocial issues. The pandemic has resulted in changes to program structures and how inpatient rehabilitation facilities approach family caregiver engagement amidst visitation restrictions. Technology solutions can be utilized to reduce the patient and their family's feelings of isolation and support caregiver preparation for discharge. Nurse leaders are essential in supporting staff during this crisis through authentic presence and providing resources and training. Rehabilitation nurses are key in helping patients and families manage rehabilitation and the aftermath of COVID-19 to restore optimal functioning. In this clinical consultation, we synthesize insights learned from the COVID-19 responses at three inpatient rehabilitation facilities. We describe the impact of rehabilitation nursing interventions to improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19 and their caregivers.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019

          Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infection of the respiratory tract that emerged in late 20191,2. Initial outbreaks in China involved 13.8% of cases with severe courses, and 6.1% of cases with critical courses3. This severe presentation may result from the virus using a virus receptor that is expressed predominantly in the lung2,4; the same receptor tropism is thought to have determined the pathogenicity-but also aided in the control-of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20035. However, there are reports of cases of COVID-19 in which the patient shows mild upper respiratory tract symptoms, which suggests the potential for pre- or oligosymptomatic transmission6-8. There is an urgent need for information on virus replication, immunity and infectivity in specific sites of the body. Here we report a detailed virological analysis of nine cases of COVID-19 that provides proof of active virus replication in tissues of the upper respiratory tract. Pharyngeal virus shedding was very high during the first week of symptoms, with a peak at 7.11 × 108 RNA copies per throat swab on day 4. Infectious virus was readily isolated from samples derived from the throat or lung, but not from stool samples-in spite of high concentrations of virus RNA. Blood and urine samples never yielded virus. Active replication in the throat was confirmed by the presence of viral replicative RNA intermediates in the throat samples. We consistently detected sequence-distinct virus populations in throat and lung samples from one patient, proving independent replication. The shedding of viral RNA from sputum outlasted the end of symptoms. Seroconversion occurred after 7 days in 50% of patients (and by day 14 in all patients), but was not followed by a rapid decline in viral load. COVID-19 can present as a mild illness of the upper respiratory tract. The confirmation of active virus replication in the upper respiratory tract has implications for the containment of COVID-19.
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            Presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Transmission in a Skilled Nursing Facility

            Abstract Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can spread rapidly within skilled nursing facilities. After identification of a case of Covid-19 in a skilled nursing facility, we assessed transmission and evaluated the adequacy of symptom-based screening to identify infections in residents. Methods We conducted two serial point-prevalence surveys, 1 week apart, in which assenting residents of the facility underwent nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal testing for SARS-CoV-2, including real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR), viral culture, and sequencing. Symptoms that had been present during the preceding 14 days were recorded. Asymptomatic residents who tested positive were reassessed 7 days later. Residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection were categorized as symptomatic with typical symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), symptomatic with only atypical symptoms, presymptomatic, or asymptomatic. Results Twenty-three days after the first positive test result in a resident at this skilled nursing facility, 57 of 89 residents (64%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among 76 residents who participated in point-prevalence surveys, 48 (63%) tested positive. Of these 48 residents, 27 (56%) were asymptomatic at the time of testing; 24 subsequently developed symptoms (median time to onset, 4 days). Samples from these 24 presymptomatic residents had a median rRT-PCR cycle threshold value of 23.1, and viable virus was recovered from 17 residents. As of April 3, of the 57 residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 11 had been hospitalized (3 in the intensive care unit) and 15 had died (mortality, 26%). Of the 34 residents whose specimens were sequenced, 27 (79%) had sequences that fit into two clusters with a difference of one nucleotide. Conclusions Rapid and widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was demonstrated in this skilled nursing facility. More than half of residents with positive test results were asymptomatic at the time of testing and most likely contributed to transmission. Infection-control strategies focused solely on symptomatic residents were not sufficient to prevent transmission after SARS-CoV-2 introduction into this facility.
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              Predicting infectious SARS-CoV-2 from diagnostic samples

              Abstract Background RT-PCR has become the primary method to diagnose viral diseases, including SARS-CoV-2. RT-PCR detects RNA, not infectious virus, thus its ability to determine duration of infectivity of patients is limited. Infectivity is a critical determinant in informing public health guidelines/interventions. Our goal was to determine the relationship between E gene SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values from respiratory samples, symptom onset to test (STT) and infectivity in cell culture. Methods In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we took SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR confirmed positive samples and determined their ability to infect Vero cell lines. Results Ninety RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 positive samples were incubated on Vero cells. Twenty-six samples (28.9%) demonstrated viral growth. Median TCID50/ml was 1780 (282-8511). There was no growth in samples with a Ct > 24 or STT > 8 days. Multivariate logistic regression using positive viral culture as a binary predictor variable, STT and Ct demonstrated an odds ratio for positive viral culture of 0.64 (95% CI 0.49-0.84, p 24. Conclusions SARS-CoV-2 Vero cell infectivity was only observed for RT-PCR Ct 24 and duration of symptoms >8 days may be low. This information can inform public health policy and guide clinical, infection control and occupational health decisions. Further studies of larger size are needed.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Rehabil Nurs
                Rehabil Nurs
                RNJ
                Rehabilitation Nursing
                Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
                0278-4807
                2048-7940
                Jul-Aug 2021
                26 April 2021
                : 46
                : 4
                : 187-196
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, Vallejo, CA, USA
                [2 ] St. Peter’s Health Partners, Albany, NY, USA
                [3 ] Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Sioux Falls, SD, USA
                Author notes
                [*] Correspondence: Michelle E. Camicia, PhD, RN, CRRN, CCM, NEA-BC, FAHA, FARN, FAAN, Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, 975 Sereno Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589. E-mail: Michelle.camicia@ 123456kp.org
                Article
                RNJ_210023 00002
                10.1097/RNJ.0000000000000337
                8270222
                34009902
                000e711a-92f3-4797-bd2c-862071e54bff
                Copyright © 2021 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

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