Study: Nearly half of COVID patients left hospital with ongoing problems

A study of Michiganders shows that 45% of hospitalized COVID patients had "significant functional decline" after being discharged.

Many people experience ongoing physical and cognitive problems after contracting COVID-19. Some of those problems last long after the initial ailment has subsided. Sometimes called “long COVID,” little is actually known about the syndrome or how to treat it.

A new study has shown that long COVID may be more pervasive than previously thought. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, reviewed COVID-19 patients in Michigan after they had been discharged from the hospital.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Surprisingly, 45% of those patients experienced “significant functional decline” even after they were discharged. Some required medical equipment including canes and wheelchairs. Others needed assistance from caregivers after they returned home.

Of the patients who reported ongoing medical problems, 20% were unable to live independently after recovering from their initial COVID-19 infection.

Researchers admit the study is based on a small sample size collected during the early days of the pandemic. However, the results may help doctors catch problems as they arise and treat them even after the initial illness has ended.

“These problems are frequent, and the stakes are pretty high if we miss them, or allow them to progress during hospitalization,” said lead author Dr. Alecia Daunter in an interview with McClatchy News. “We want to make sure we’re addressing those needs, not just looking at the black and white — survival or death.”

You can read more here.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.