Many COVID-19 patients yet to fully recover months after hospitalisation | Dailytrust

Many COVID-19 patients yet to fully recover months after hospitalisation

A large majority of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized during last winter’s surge still have not fully recovered, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed 253 patients who were hospitalized towards the end of fall 2020 and winter 2021.

Nearly 85 per cent of the patients reported that they had still not made a full recovery at least six months later.

Around 55 per cent of patients reported a new heart or lung condition as well.

“These people have substantially worse problems after hospitalization than clinicians would have expected,” said Dr Jack Iwashyna, co-lead author and a physician at the Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, in a statement.

The median age of patients in the study, which was published last week in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, was 60 years old, and the average hospitalization time was five days.

In total, 84.2 per cent of participants reported having symptoms months after hospitalization and not feeling ‘fully back to their pre-COVID-19 level of functioning.’

Around 56 per cent of patients, or 139, reported having new or worsened cardiopulmonary symptoms.

Almost a quarter of participants, 57 out of the 253, said they have a frequent cough now, and nearly 20 per cent have a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Some reported more serious symptoms.

Nearly 16 per cent said they now have to use a home oxygen machine or have difficulty getting around the house due to chest troubles.

Ten per cent report having to sleep sitting up to deal with potential issues.

In total, 50 per cent of patients reported that their daily life is now limited in some way due to their post-COVID symptoms.

Over a quarter of the patients said they now have three or more limitations to their daily life that did not previously exist.

“This isn’t patients saying: “I can’t run quite as far as I used to,” said Dr Terri Hough, professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Oregon Health & Science University.

“This is them saying: “I can’t walk, I can’t cook, I can’t shower.” The effects are devastating.

“Unfortunately, we saw this even among patients with quite short hospital stays.”

The cause for these long term symptoms is not yet known.

‘Long covid’ is the name given to the condition where people feel symptoms of the virus long after recovery.

Anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of COVID-19 patients will develop some form of the condition.

It can appear in anyone, even in relatively healthy people who contract the virus and do not experience serious symptoms while they are hospitalised.

Researchers of the Michigan study hope that identifying more potential symptoms of ‘long covid’ can help physicians develop treatments to the conditions.

“As we continue, we’re excited that this study will link the biology of initial hospitalizations for COVID-19 to long-term patient-centred outcomes, and thereby help us find treatments to decrease the burden of recovery from COVID-19,” said Hough.

The team also hopes that long Covid patients are not forgotten as the world plans to eventually move past the pandemic.

“While much attention has focused on deaths from COVID, these findings highlight the long-term consequences in survivors of COVID-19 and shed light on the public health crisis resulting from the disability and economic loss among COVID survivors,” said Dr James Kiley, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Division of Lung Diseases.

 

  Culled from Mail Online

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