Medical Advisory for treatment of patients with COVID-19 who have a history of polio

This letter has been prepared by PPV to be provided to medical practitioners who are treating patients for COVID-19 who have a history of polio.

Download and print the letter to present to your medical practitioner.

As Polio causes muscle weakness. This may include the diaphragm, larynx and other muscles involved in breathing. Therefore, while lung function is not affected by polio, people with post polio may have respiratory conditions eg sleep apnea.
Polio survivors may also have restriction in chest wall movement due to scoliosis and chest wall muscle weakness.
Oxygen therapy may not be tolerated as it requires breathing stamina which may be affected by these issues. Oxygen tolerance would need close monitoring to avoid carbon dioxide buildup. The patient should be propped and not completely lying flat so that there is less pressure to breathe against.
Ask the patient for specific information about the effects of polio on their muscular skeletal and respiratory health, and contact their specialist.
For more information go to “Aaesthesia and Surgery: A guide for people with a history of polio”
This information has been prepared by PPV and endorsed by a Medical Practitioner.