It is a fact that most people visit hospitals to improve their health. However, a new study has shown that during the COVID19 pandemic around half of all COVID19 patients who have been hospitalized have left the hospitals in much worse condition as compared to when they have been admitted. A team of experts from Michigan Medicine has looked at the cases of COVID19 long haulers and other side effects. Experts have claimed that nearly 45 percent of patients who have survived COVID19 have been discharged from the hospital with drastically less physical function. A pediatric psychiatrist, Dr. Alecia K. Daunter has said that although these patients have survived the disease they have been discharged from the hospitals in much worse health conditions than before. She has said that if they have required outpatient therapy and now they are being discharged with a cane, it shows that something has wrong with their discharge plan.
Experts who have been involved in the study have looked at the health record of nearly 300 patients who have been hospitalized after being diagnosed with COVID19. They have taken the data from March 2020 to April 2020. The data have included details about patients’ discharge plan, therapy requirements, and need for special equipment or services after discharge. The findings of the new study have shown that doctors have prescribed additional treatment to a whopping 80 percent of COVID19 patients. Experts have said that nearly one out of five COVID19 patients has lost so much of their physical capability during the hospitalization that they are no longer able to live independently after being discharged from the hospital.
Dr. Alecia K. Daunter has said that these patients might have required moving to a subacute facility or might have required moving in with a family member but they have not been able to go home. It leaves a huge emotional and physical impact on patients and their family members. The authors of the study have said that the study has included the data from only the first two months of the pandemic at the beginning of the first wave. At that time, doctors have been unaware of the full picture of the side effects of COVID19. Experts have said that during that time, hospitals have been focusing on treatment and discharging patients as soon as possible in order to free up beds.
Considering these facts, the authors of the study have said that the study might be underreporting the number of COVID19 patients who might have lost their ability to lead a normal life. The lead author of the study has said that doctors and physicians in the health care system have been working properly to discharge patients. They have been responsible for keeping patients safe while increasing the availability of beds and reducing the virus exposure to staff members. It might have led to many people not being properly examined by the therapists and doctors. Therefore, the things that are done in the hospital to enhance functioning such as mobility interventions, examining activities of daily life have not been happening, as often as they should.
The authors of the study have seen that COVID19 infection systematically affects many organs throughout the body. The trauma can lead to neurological and musculoskeletal damage that can last for months after recovery. Michigan Medicine has launched two new clinics to deal with issues, COVID19 long haulers are suffering. A physician from Michigan Medicine, Dr. Edward Claflin has said that as death tolls have reduced and vaccination programs are taking place, more and more people are dealing with unbearable side effects of COVID19. He has said that the findings of the study have shown the real impact of the COVID19 pandemic on people’s overall health. The findings will help experts understand what kinds of rehabilitation therapies are required for these patients.
The authors of the report have warned that these are real-time issues and stakes are high if health authorities do not take prompt action. They have said that these patients need to be allowed to progress during hospitalization. Most of these patients are working or living alone. An impact on their physical function is quite meaningful for them. Experts have advised that health officials need to look beyond death and survival and address the needs of these patients more attentively. The findings of the study have been released in the journal called PM & R.