Physicians grapple with treatment uncertainty for COVID-19 long haulers

Care teams are facing the dual challenge of responding to COVID-19 patients' immediate medical needs while also discerning how to help survivors facing long-term symptoms, reports The Washington Post.

Physicians have a broad array of research and knowledge to guide management of such long-term diseases as diabetes or renal failure care teams only have 10 months' worth of knowledge about COVID-19 to inform treatment for the thousands of patients with prolonged symptoms, known as "COVID-19 long haulers."

What physicians do know is that a broad range of patients experience long-term health effects after contracting COVID-19, regardless of their age or illness severity. The symptoms also span every organ in the body, according to Jennifer Possick, MD, medical director of the Winchester Chest Clinic at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital.

Denyse Lutchmansingh, MD, a pulmonologist at Yale New Haven Hospital, said it's been difficult to not have clear answers for these patients. 

"They are happy to feel heard. They are happy that people are trying to help them, but at the end of the day, [they would] like to be told for sure, ‘This is what is going to happen to you, this is not what is going to happen to you,'" Dr. Lutchmansingh told The Post. "And that’s the part that’s difficult for us in medicine, because it’s not completely clear.”

View the full article here.

More articles on patient outcomes:

Colorado shuts down psychiatric hospital, seeks to revoke its license
Advanced life support can help critically ill COVID-19 patients survive, study shows
Acute kidney injury boosts death risk in COVID-19 patients, Northwell study finds

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