Residual Symptoms Persist in COVID-19 Patients Post Hospitalization
Some hospitalized with COVID-19 experience long-lasting effects of being put on a ventilator or neurological damage from positioning. We are learning that when this virus presents in acute cases, the lasting effects and consequences to a patient can continue well into months past discharge and recovery. The trauma is not only physical, but it is mental too as one approaches the possible loss of employment and the medical burden of insurance coverage to name a few. In a recent U.S. News article, Dr. Chopra highlights this:
"Unlike other serious illness when you have support from family, many post-COVID patients found themselves alone, isolated [or] quarantined, experiencing stigma and challenges accessing health care again," Chopra said. "This is especially true for the vast majority of patients we saw from inner-city areas who were often economically disadvantaged, to begin with."
Dr. Franz goes on to say in this article:
... the finding that stands out is that even two months after being released from the hospital many of the patients remained unable to return to work.
Franz pointed to a number of likely reasons why, including "persistent fatigue, 'brain fog,' as well as neuromuscular problems stemming from nerve and muscle damage." Though not part of this study, Franz's own research has further identified a risk for enduring peripheral nerve and muscle damage that is higher than what's typically seen among patients coming out of the ICU following other types of illnesses
The upshot, he said, is that there is an "extreme risk of persistent disability for survivors of COVID-19 who required hospitalization."
Franz noted that some of that disability may ultimately be linked to the risks associated with being hospitalized and undergoing treatment for any serious illness. "For example, patients who spend a long time on a ventilator for reasons other than COVID-19 tend to be very debilitated afterwards," he said. Figuring out which lingering health issues are directly attributable to the coronavirus will take more investigation, he added.
Read the full U.S. News Article: 'A Struggle:' Physical, Mental Ills Can Linger Months After COVID Recovery