There’s still much to be discovered about the long-term effects of COVID-19. While research continues, Parkland Hospital created a special unit for recovery care.
Dr. Emily Adhikari is Medical Director of Perinatal Infectious Diseases at Parkland Hospital. She said the conversation started back in the spring. There was need to see COVID patients in person after discharge from the hospital or ER.
“We couldn’t do that safely in our regular clinics,” she said. “The need was recognized early on as we began to have more and more patients who were not hospitalized but were infected and still within a period of contagion.”
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So, Parkland created a COVID follow-up clinic. It’s a one-stop location for COVID patients that houses doctors with various specialties. In a press release, the hospital states the clinic has “facilitated more than 400 patient visits with specialists ranging from wound care and oncology nurses to OB/GYNs and advanced practice providers.”
“It’s been a substantial relief in terms of the ability to say we will see you after discharge within a few days of discharge because we have a place to see you in person,” said Adhikari.
It’s also a relief for those who might be concerned about spreading the virus.
“This clinic is actually located within one of the COVID units. So, it is isolated from non-COVID patients,” said Adhikari.
Time will tell what happens months and years after people have survived the virus. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that only 13% of patients were free of symptoms 60 days after the first symptoms.
“There’s a lot that we don’t really know about the long-term consequences of having this virus,” she said.
But Adhikari said this clinic is critical for short-term follow-up and could serve as a first step in creating individualized long-term care as well.
“The need for this clinic is, especially in the short term when there is a real need for avoiding transmission in another clinic setting for example, to be able to see and follow those patients so we can check on more short-term progress and then establish the necessary plan for follow-up care,” said Adhikari.
To learn more about Parkland services, visit www.parklandhospital.com.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.