Tuesday 28 Sep 2021

Keeping an eye out for post-Covid syndrome

If you are out of hospital after a Covid-19 infection, do not neglect your health. Keep an eye out for even the slightest of discomfort in your body function and immediately seek medical advice

| JUNE 29, 2021, 11:01 PM IST
Keeping an eye out for post-Covid syndrome

Dr Pramod N Sulikeri, PhD

If you are out of hospital after a Covid-19 infection, you should not neglect your health. You need to carefully assess how your body behaves. Can you match all the activities that you were performing pre-covid? This needs to be observed cautiously. 

Although Covid-19 predominantly affects the respiratory system, evidence indicates a multisystem disease which severely impairs multi-organs. After discharge from hospital or home isolation, if you experience even the slightest of discomfort in your body function, do not neglect it. Instead, immediately seek medical advice. 

Long-term sequelae of Covid-19 infection are unknown, but evidence from previous Covid outbreaks demonstrates decreased pulmonary (lung) and physical function, reduced quality of life and emotional distress. 

Many Covid-19 survivors who were admitted in critical care units may develop psychological, physical and cognitive impairments. Most post Covid-19 patients discharged from hospital will require follow-up and supportive care. 

Symptoms to look out for

Dyspnoea (difficulty breathing)

Shortness of breath even with minimal activities

Chest discomfort, abnormal heart rate/palpitation

Frequent cough 

Loss of appetite, abdomen pain, irregular bowel movements and vomitting  

Fatigue, head ache, neurological conditions

Loss of sleep

Mood disturbances

Variations in blood pressure and sugar levels

Oxygen saturation 

The state of Goa had over 1 lakh Covid recovered citizens. Seventy-five percent of these recover within one month and get back to their work. However, 20-25% of Covid recovered citizens will continue to experience various post-Covid syndromes and will need medical follow-up. 

During early post-Covid evaluation, if required physiotherapy rehabilitation protocol is proposed according to the baseline conditions of the patients. 

Rehabilitation is patient-centred and tailored to individual patient needs. However, keep in mind that any rehabilitation programme should take into account comorbidities that may affect a patient’s progress or ability to take part in a programme. 

Medical rehabilitation recommendations

Post Covid-19 medical examination should be considered in all patients. Your physician will advise ECG, X-ray, blood investigations. Post-acute assessment should also include a full medical history, examination and medication including light exercise and diet. 

Post-covid syndrome will pass away

Post-covid syndrome is transient in nature and will pass away with medical treatment, exercise, good diet and rest and the body will heal itself by maintaining a positive outlook. 

(The writer is transplant coordinator, KLES Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital and MRC, Belagavi)

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