Nutritional management of COVID-19 patients in a rehabilitation unit

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has confounded the healthcare system organizations, especially in Italy, in the management of a dramatically increasing number of patients over a short period of time. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may cause interstitial pneumonia and respiratory distress syndrome, which can lead to multi-organ failure. During the acute phase of COVID-19 pneumonia, patients may need noninvasive ventilation, CPAP or NIV, or endotracheal intubation. Furthermore, COVID-19 seems to affect multiple organs, such as heart and kidney, and also to cause vascular damages facilitating thrombosis.

After the acute phase, specific rehabilitation should be performed to achieve respiratory improvement, functional and cognitive recovery, to decrease disability, and to improve quality of life.

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