People hospitalized for COVID-19 are frequently released in significantly poorer condition than they were before their sickness, emphasizing the need for immunization in preventing severe instances.
Novel Health Conditions Arise In Some COVID Survivors After Hospital Discharge
According to a new study, over half of COVID-19 patients discharged from their health system experienced some degree of functional loss during the pandemic’s early months.
This is a wide group that includes those who need further therapy for physical impairments such as muscular weakness and low fitness levels; help with walking or other daily activities; home oxygen; or speech therapy or special meals after being on a ventilator.
According to the researchers, all of this underscores a critical point: many patients who survive severe COVID-19 nonetheless face a lengthy recovery.
According to the main author Dr. Alecia Daunter, surviving is not the same as thriving. She works at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor as a rehabilitation expert.
She stated that a year and a half into the pandemic, many individuals still assume that death is the sole negative effect of COVID-19.
Younger people, whose risk of death is minimal, may incorrectly believe they have nothing to worry about, according to Daunter.
Many studies have confirmed the long-term effects of COVID-19, including the phenomena known as protracted COVID, which produces lasting difficulties such as poor fitness, deep weariness, and cognitive fog even after a modest illness.
COVID-19 typically affects the lungs, but it can also harm other organs such as the heart and brain.
However, according to Daunter’s team, no research has detailed the influence on hospitalized patients’ functionality.
As a result, the researchers examined the medical data of 288 COVID-19 patients who were released from their medical institution between March and May 2020. The majority of patients, about two-thirds, were allowed to return home, but 13% were admitted to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility for further care.
According to a paper published recently online in PM&R: The Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation, almost half (45 percent) exhibited some form of functional deterioration at the time of discharge.
One reason is that staying in the hospital produces deconditioning, which causes a reduction in muscular strength, heart, and lung capacity, and makes even everyday tasks harder, according to Daunter.
People who are unwell enough to require critical care might develop the post-ICU syndrome, which includes symptoms ranging from deconditioning to poor memory and reasoning to post-traumatic stress, she noted.
Daunter emphasized that the patients in the research were not all elderly: they ranged in age from 20 to 95, with an average age of 66.
She said that they are talking about a pretty youthful and healthy population.
According to Daunter, all of the COVID-19 vaccinations available in the United States are extremely efficient at avoiding severe sickness and hospitalization. She believes young people must understand that they may end up in the hospital and endure the consequences.
Long-term repercussions, however, are not confined to hospital patients, according to Dr. Titano, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai’s Center for Post-COVID Care ,NYC
In reality, Titano stated that the majority of patients in the facility had lesser COVID-19 instances that had been managed at home.
According to her, researchers are striving to understand the origins of protracted COVID, such as whether it is caused by excessive inflammation or an immunological reaction.
However, individuals do display evidence of autonomic nervous system malfunction, according to Titano: their heart rate and blood pressure might increase from something as simple as sluggish walking.
Initially, doctors advised such patients to allow their bodies time to recuperate, like they would after a bout of the flu.
Titano pointed out that this wasn’t unreasonable.
However, it has become clear that certain COVID-19 individuals have long-term issues. And, like Mount Sinai, an increasing number of medical facilities are developing COVID clinics.
It remains to be seen how patients will fare in the end. Titano stated that at this stage, there has been some success with progressive exercise treatment, which begins with very light intensity and gradually progresses.