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Maine Hospital Launching Program To Treat COVID-19 Patients With Lasting Symptoms

Troy R. Bennett
Bangor Daily News
Northern Light Mercy Hospital

Northern Light Mercy Hospital is launching an after-care program for COVID-19 patients who find themselves with lingering symptoms, sometimes long after the initial infection.

These symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and brain fog.

"And actually, pretty common, they even have palpitations, like heart fluttering." says Mercy Primary Care Medical Director Dr. Su-Anne Hammond.

Patient experiences can vary widely, and much is still unknown about potential long-term effects, but Hammond says one has only to look back a few decades to see why it's important to keep track of patient health after a serious illness.

"It's easy to compare it to like polio. You had a very bad respiratory infection, the cough, the congestion and whatnot, and it wasn't until after the polio respiratory symptoms resolved that we found that people had muscular disorders. There are people alive today who are in wheelchairs because they had that initial polio infection," Hammond says.

Mercy is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital on developing care plans for patients after they've had COVID-19.

"We want anybody who has post-COVID symptoms to have a place to be supported, where we can do a medical evaluation, connect you with the appropriate resources, and then have a long-term relationship with you as we all learn more about what's going to happen down the road," Hammond says.

People who have had COVID-19 with lasting symptoms can contact Mercy Hospital to request an evaluation at 857-8375. Additional information can be found on Mercy Hospital’s website.