Over thousand recovered COVID-19 patients have sought treatment at the post-COVID OPD facility at the KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals. According to the BMC data, 1,500 recovered covid-19 patients have visited the post-COVID OPD, of which only 10 per cent of them had serious health complications which includes fibrosis, kidney problem, uncontrolled diabetes.
Civic health officials said the post- COVID OPD has received good response from the patients.
Several recovered Covid-19 patients are developing long-term complications like breathlessness, fatigue, neurological disorder, lung fibrosis, heart diseases and numbness among others. This also leads to the additional economic burden on them as patients have to keep taking treatment for months.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, BYL Nair hospital said they had started the post- COVID OPD in October with an aim of treating patients with post- COVID complications after getting recovered from covid-19. “So far, more than 1,500 patients have sought treatment at post- COVID OPD across the civic-run hospitals. Of which 10 per cent had severe health issues which includes difficulty in breathing, weakness and insomnia all these were common amongst the patients,” he said. Moreover, lung infections and mental problems were also seen in many of these patients, however, there is no problem because the patients are being given all possible treatment to overcome post- COVID complications.
Senior doctor from Sion hospital treating recovered COVID patients for health complications said, “COVID-19 patients were being discharged by day 10 of the onset of symptoms. Soon, over 20 per cent of such discharged patients started returning to hospitals with 'ground glass opacities in lungs', cardiomyopathies, kidney shutdowns, and vessel and brain clots causing multiple paralyses.”
Dr Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist, P.D Hinduja Hospital & MRC said post-viral syndromes have been reported in the past for a variety of viruses such as the SARS virus, MERS, Dengue and others. Given the number of people worldwide who have been infected with the virus, a syndrome that is prevalent even in a miniscule proportion of individuals infected is likely to result in large numbers.
“Apart from the residual lung damage that could be a consequence of a COVID pneumonitis, leading to shortness of breath and chronic cough, post-COVID complications range from neuropsychiatric symptoms such as extreme fatigue, memory loss, loss of concentration, insomnia to cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks, strokes and gastrointestinal disturbances. We are likely to see more and more individuals report these, and research needs to be carried out toward helping such individuals cope better,” he said.