St. Luke’s announced the opening of their COVID Recovery Clinic at a virtual press conference on April 15. The Clinic, offered network-wide at the Bethlehem-based St. Luke’s University Health Network, is dedicated to the treatment of post-COVID patients with extended symptoms.
One in four people diagnosed with COVID-19 have lingering symptoms in the months following their initial diagnosis and “recovery,” according to the physicians at the Clinic.
The clinic, offered network-wide at the Bethlehem-based St. Luke’s University Health Network, is dedicated to the treatment of these post-COVID patients with extended symptoms.
These individuals may have been told by their physicians or friends and family that what they are feeling is all in their head, health network officials said.
“We know that it is real,” said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, vice president of medical and academic affairs and section chief emeritus of infectious diseases for St. Luke’s, at an April 15 press conference announcing the clinic. Symptoms like extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing, brain fog and anxiety can continue for months for some patients, he said, with extreme fatigue being the most prevalent complaint.
The COVID Recovery Clinic provides patients with the care of medical specialists, including physical therapists, cardiologists, and experts in cognitive and memory training.
“…St. Luke’s is committed to helping these patients get access to the most appropriate care so they can find relief,” said St. Luke’s senior regional medical director Dr. Dennis McGorry, who is spearheading the program. “We have developed a very organized way of dealing with these issues.”
Patients with persistent symptoms that last more than a month are advised to go their primary care physician who will be able to evaluate them and may refer them to the clinic for treatment, he said,.
Treatment for these extended symptoms can help make sure that a more serious complications, such as blood clots or a heart condition are not missed, he said.
Receiving the vaccine can sometimes provide relief for such patients, Jahre said. Because of this, the health network advises those who have had COVID be vaccinated.