Baylor opens clinic for COVID-19 long-haulers
COVID-19 has affected many lives, especially those who experienced the disease and are still in recovery.
Many people think of the negative health impacts of COVID-19 as coming during the active infection, but the aftereffects of the virus can be serious as well, resulting in long-term health issues that may affect daily function.
Baylor College of Medicine is providing care for long-haul COVID-19 through the Post COVID Care Clinic, where patients can receive treatment for the lingering symptoms or new side effects after having the virus.
“We believe that patients experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19 need a dedicated, multidisciplinary approach to their care that will help them on the path to recovery,” said Dr. Fidaa Shaib, associate professor of medicine in the section of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor. “This clinic will provide care that is comprehensive but personalized by focusing on each patient experience and condition to facilitate meaningful recovery.”
People who experience long COVID-19, also known as long-haulers, often have symptoms that are continuations of the initial infection. Some never experience major symptoms while having the virus but can develop new symptoms after recovery.
Common side effects of long COVID-19 include:
• Fatigue and shortness of breath
• Headaches, memory and concentration difficulties
• Loss of taste and smell
• Cough and chest pain
• Joint and muscle pain
• Heart palpitations
• Depression and anxiety
Long-term symptoms of COVID-19 can affect several organ systems in the body, but the most concerning are those that affect the lungs, heart and brain. Shaib adds that it is important to be evaluated by a physician if new side effects or persistent symptoms occur so that they can assess which organs could be affected.
“Patients who had COVID are at an increased risk to develop pulmonary fibrosis, heart failure, renal failure or blood clots and pulmonary embolism in the future,” Shaib said.
The Post COVID Care Clinic will provide a questionnaire that will assess how COVID-19 has affected the patient. This is followed by a visit with a pulmonary specialist who will provide an evaluation and a management plan personalized to each case.
Baylor’s Post COVID Care Clinic is located at the Baylor Medicine McNair Campus. While the clinic offers both in-person and virtual appointments, in-person is recommended so clinicians can perform a thorough assessment and exam.
“The clinic is a collaborative effort of Baylor Medicine specialists whose goal is to alleviate the pain and suffering associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Shaib said. “Our mission is to deliver care with empathy and compassion while dedicating the knowledge and expertise of our providers in the different specialties in our practice. We are also focused on continuing to gain knowledge and develop new options for the care of our patients.”
Those interested in the Post COVID Care Clinic can make an appointment by calling 713-798-2400. Learn more about the Post COVID Care Clinic here.