Evangelical Community Hospital Introduces Rehabilitation Program for COVID-19 RecoveryMar 23, 2021 05:32PM ● By Erica Shames
As more people find themselves recovering from COVID-19, some individuals who contracted the virus are experiencing long-term, lingering effects. In response, Evangelical Community Hospital has introduced a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation program to address a variety of conditions that continue to remain for patients, especially those who had severe bouts of the virus that may or may not have required hospitalization.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), short-term and long-term effects of the virus continue to be studied and will be looked at through multi-year studies. Currently the CDC has noted that for COVID-19 patients the most common long-term symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, and chest pain. Other reported long-term symptoms can include difficulty thinking, depression, muscle pain, headache, intermittent fever, and a pounding heart.
At Evangelical, experts across the system are providing assistance with these longstanding issues through its established post-COVID-19 rehabilitation program. Led primarily by cardiopulmonary and physical rehabilitation, the program is referral-based and for any patient who was diagnosed with COVID-19 with lingering impacts on systems of the body that prevent return to work, impact daily activities, and lessen quality of life.
Patients with continued use of oxygen not previously used or at a higher level than previously used, decreased endurance, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest tightness with exertion, generalized weakness, difficulty with mobility and/or balance, brain fog, or weight loss should consider asking their primary care physician for a referral to the program or call 570-522-4135 for more information on how to be referred to the program.
Once referred, cardiopulmonary experts can determine whether lung function has been impacted, heart function is in normal ranges, and whether sleep patterns have been disturbed. Physical rehabilitation, including Physical and Occupational Therapy, will focus on joint pain, muscle weakness, balance and mobility issues, attention deficit when it comes to memory and concentration, and more.
Through assessment, patients may be referred to other experts to address issues and rebuild strength of systems. This could include nutritional counseling for weight loss, speech therapy, cardiology, psychology, diabetes management, pulmonary rehabilitation, and more.
Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs 1,900 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients, and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming counties.