University Hospitals is launching a comprehensive clinic for patients affected by the post-acute residual symptoms of COVID-19, according to a news release.
The UH COVID Recovery Clinic, centered at UH Ahuja Medical Center, will promote pathways to healing for affected patients of all ages, including children and young adults.
"It is estimated that 20% or more of individuals infected with COVID-19 will experience health problems for weeks, even months after their body has cleared the virus, and unfortunately we know many are suffering in silence," said Dr. David M. Rosenberg, of UH's Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, in a provided statement.
Rosenberg, who will lead the new clinic, has decades of clinical experience and understands the importance of collaborative and integrated patient-centered care.
COVID-19 Long-Haul Syndrome can affect multiple organ systems in the body — including the pulmonary, hematologic, cardiovascular, neuropsychiatric, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal/hepatobiliary and dermatologic systems — with impacts ranging from mild to severe and debilitating, according to the release.
The UH COVID Recovery Clinic was designed to provide each patient access to a network of medical specialists qualified "to recognize the syndrome, perform the appropriate diagnostic tests and develop a personalized treatment plan to address every physical and behavioral aspect of the patient's illness," Rosenberg said in the release.
Clinicians involved in treating patients with the clinic will meet regularly to collaborate in order to ensure optimal outcomes, according to the release, which also notes that research protocols have been established and patients will be given the opportunity to enter these investigations.
Patients can be referred to the UH COVID Recovery Clinic by their primary care provider or by self-referral. The clinic offers in-person and virtual care with potential specialty areas for referral including: pulmonary, cardiology, sleep medicine, psychiatry, integrative health, neurology, neuropsychology, infectious disease, otolaryngology, digestive health and immunology.
The clinic also offers access to integrative health interventions that have been shown to improve symptoms of COVID Long-Haul for patients of all ages, such as acupuncture, stress management and relaxation techniques through the UH Connor Integrative Health Network, according to the release.
Dr. Amy Edwards, associate medical director of pediatric infection control at UH Rainbow, is leading a team of pediatric specialists to create an assessment and treatment model for children.
"The pediatric piece of COVID long-haul has been overshadowed by the adult disease, however we have treated children and teens who were previously healthy and are suffering from debilitating headaches, fatigue and digestive issues," Edwards said in a provided statement. "We hope to discover optimal care plans for these kids so they can feel better and get back to their life before COVID-19."
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Cleveland Business.