It’s estimated that one out of every 20 people who have had COVID-19 is now experiencing long-term, chronic side effects, also known as COVID Syndrome.
Just ask Karan Omidvari, MD, a critical care intensivist at Hackensack University Medical Center who came to the hospital's emergency room on April 7 with shortness of breath, fever and fatigue. Seven months later he is still suffering from side effects that vary in symptoms and severity.
Karan Omidvari, MD, critical care interventionist
Patients, like Dr. Omidvari, are grateful, of course, to be told they are “COVID free.” But their list of lingering issues, including fatigue, a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, achy joints, foggy thinking, a persistent loss of sense of smell, damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain, is not only scary for patients, it’s more varied than most doctors could have ever imagined.
Hackensack Meridian Health has treated more than 15,000 patients with COVID. Now, the experts at Hackensack Meridian Health’s COVID-19 Recovery Center, one of the few of its kind, are focused on caring for COVID-19 patients who have “recovered” from the disease but require additional lung, heart and behavioral health care.
Patients can call the recovery center to receive a tele-screening conducted by a physician. Based on the screening results, the physician will create a customized care plan and connect the patient with specialists as needed. By seeking support, the patients who have come to the center for care, not only receive the help they need, but also help the medical community learn more about the longer-term side effects of COVID-19.
Since launching the center, hundreds of patients have called. The following has been noted:
- Even mild cases of COVID can result in long-term side effect.
- More women than men experience chronic COVID Syndrome.
- We will likely see another increase in calls after this second wave of the pandemic.
For more information on the COVID-19 Recovery Center, call or email Mary McGeever, manager of PR, 551-795-1675 or email [email protected].