Visakhapatnam: Post-COVID complications to recovered patients are giving sleepless nights to doctors and health administrators in Andhra Pradesh.
Over 50% of COVID patients suffer from problems that include breathlessness, chest pain and heart issues, joint pains, vision problems, and memory loss, months after contracting the novel coronavirus.
A number of sudden deaths in post-COVID patients have been reported and most of these are attributed to acute cardiac events.
COVID-19 impacts almost all the vital organs in the body. Apart from acute events like stroke and myocardial infarction, chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension are part of the post-COVID syndrome.
This is despite the fact that Covid-19 positive cases in Andhra have shown a decline. Around 2,918 cases reported on Monday. However, persons suffering from the mid and long-term persistent effects of the infection are on a rise.
Observing the trend, corporate hospitals are now opening post-Covid-care clinics. In some states, government post-Covid care clinics are also being set up.
Doctors are of the view that post-COVID syndrome is adding to the disease load. If not addressed, it will lead to an increase in morbidity and mortality beyond the pandemic with a large number of chronically ill individuals who have recovered from COVID.
Post-COVID Recovery Clinics will be manned by a team of specialists including neurologists and immunologists to help patients deal with the aftermath of COVID-19.
Apollo, Visakhapatnam is also planning to open a Post-COVID Recovery Clinic in Vizag.
Post-COVID Clinics will address the rising number of patients who have recovered from COVID but are suffering from the mid and long term persistent effects of the infection.
“Many patients who have recovered from COVID-19 at our hospitals have been contacting us. To address these health issues faced who have recovered from COVID-19, we have started the Post-COVID Recovery Clinics,” said Dr. Sami, Chief Operating Officer, Apollo Hospitals, Visakhapatnam.
These exclusive clinics will help patients to connect to the specialized care that they need. “We have laid down the guidelines and trained the clinicians to ensure that patients get the correct treatment. The clinics will help patients recover completely from the consequences of COVID-19 and return to a normal life,” he said
Dr. Sami noted that COVID-19 attacks not only affect just the lungs but other organs in the body and leaves behind lingering health issues.
“Some of the manifestations occur weeks and months after the treatment for the acute phase are completed and the patient has recovered and impacted the well-being of individuals beyond the acute phase," he said.
Dr Sami noted that while longer-term problems are more common among patients who have been hospitalized. "Some of the long-term effects may be severe and disabling in nature. This specialized clinic will enable us to monitor symptoms of patients on an ongoing basis and deliver timely medical attention,” he said.