NEW BRITAIN â€“ Hartford HealthCare introduced the regionâ€™s first comprehensive Covid-19 Recovery Center that focuses on the health and healing of those who have suffered from the virus.
â€śThis is a center which brings a multi-specialty approach, an integrated approach of care delivery across Hartford HealthCare,â€ť said Ajay Kumar, MD and chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare. â€śWe have institutes, departments and service lines across Connecticut which are interconnected and managed through one platform.â€ť
There will be a phone number to call in order seek help for any related covid-19 exposure or any of the clinical symptoms people may have.
â€śCovid-19 is always evolving,â€ť Kumar said. â€śWe learned that several patients of ours and members of our communities are suffering whoâ€™ve had covid-19 and theyâ€™ve come back with different kinds of symptoms like fatigue, swelling of the leg or chest pain. These various symptoms require an integrated comprehensive approach to take care of them.â€ť
Kumar goes on to add that covid-19 has left many patients with what is described as â€śLong Haulâ€ť phenomenon. Patients return to the hospital after several weeks and the symptoms linger on for a long time and this has been reported up to 10% of the patients who have recovered from Hartford HealthCare.
â€śWeâ€™re very fortunate to have Hartford HealthCare capability to be able to provide that (care) in the most comprehensive way. We have experts and specialist from all areas of specialty working together. Theyâ€™ve been working for several weeks to find the best clinical protocols and how we can support our colleagues across the state,â€ť Kumar said.
The Covid-19 Recovery Center includes specialist from the neuroscience institute managing the brain related issues.
â€śSome of the common post-covid phenomenons that weâ€™ve seen in the neurology neuroscience arena include this phenomena of brain fog, which is often described as difficulty with memory, thinking, cognition,â€ť said Mark Alberts, MD, co-physician-in-chief, Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute. â€śSome of these phenomenons, for example, when you do the full examination you find that they really have PTSD. In many cases this has to do with the stress of being hospitalized and isolated from friends and family, being on a ventilator for days or even weeks at a time. We understand this, we know how to diagnose and most important how to treat you bringing together all of our care providers.â€ť
The center also includes the heart and respiratory institute supporting cardiac related issues, and the pulmonary and critical care division which has been managing patients throughout the pandemic to support the lingering effect on the lungs from the covid-19 as they recover.
â€śWeâ€™ve been watching as patients come in and know now that inflammation and inflammatory disorders involving covid, basically elevated immune response, causes problems with clotting in the vessels, as well as, heart attacks and causes scarring and fibrosis within the muscles of the heart leading to arrhythmias and weakening of the heart muscles,â€ť said Aneesh Tolat, MD, electrophysiologist, director of ventricular tachycardia at Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute. â€śWe are now prepared to help patients not only get through the acute phase, but the post hospitalizations now when the patients get discharged home we are ready to take care of patients who are still forming inflammation of the heart and other concerns over the long term.â€ť
There are also members of the physical medicine, podiatry and rehab center available to make sure the patients are rehabilitated, and infectious disease and mental health services as well.
â€śBehavioral services is one of the critical keys of this puzzle at this time as weâ€™re seeing significant disruption in the way of life from the pandemic and a variety of other issues,â€ť Kumar said.