By: Dr. Elton Gomez, Regenerative Medicine Specialist
If someone were to face a situation, to tell us how it happened, what he did, and above all, what problems that situation left him, we must listen to him, it is true that the COVID19 pandemic left us with very important lessons, and that it is still far from finishing, but even so, we must prepare ourselves to face the consequences that countries who have already overcome have begun to report.
Leaving aside the economic consequences, such as the closure of businesses, and the 160 million new poor, we have the physical and psychological consequences of this problem in the patients who have recovered from it.
The physical sequelae, which are present in 60% of patients:
- Respiratory affection: a percentage of the patients will have some respiratory affection, which will become chronic, such as persistent cough, difficulty breathing after making some physical effort, even slight, reaching pulmonary fibrosis in some cases, due to the inflammation they experienced in the lungs.
- Asthenia (fatigue): lack of energy and difficulty with movements, especially with the movements of everyday life, such as getting out of bed, walking short distances, or grooming.
- Loss of muscle mass: with all the metabolic disorders that this entails, it is present in many of these patients, almost more than 80%, some of whom have reported that they must learn to walk again.
- Very intense general weakness: presenting exacerbated fatigue, which does not correspond to the degree of effort made.
- Amyotrophy polyneuropathy: Muscle, joint, and tingling pain in arms and legs, unrelated to age, these problems have occurred in patients of all ages, sometimes up to 2 months after discharge.
- If facing these symptoms, measures should be taken, with the application of intravenous vitamin cocktails, proteins, after a case study, with x rays, or even a pulmonary tomography.
- Another physical sequel, which is closely related to the psychological one, is that of alopecia (hair loss), produced in some patients due to nervous tension.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: similar to that experienced in wars, being much more frequent in health personnel who are fighting to save the lives of patients, with symptoms such as panic attacks, depression, anxiety, insomnia, self-destructive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks (visualization of memories) attacks of unfounded anger, even self-destructive behaviors.
- Psychosomatic problems: physical illnesses caused by negative states of consciousness, such as migraine, nervous colitis, headaches, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and other disorders.
- Symptoms of cognitive declines, such as memory failure, abstract thinking difficulty, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, and loss of retention capacity or short-term memory.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: these sequelae are treatable and perfectly surmountable if detected early, using specific therapies and an appropriate treatment strategy, increasing the patient’s resilience and with close relatives’ support.