Because chronic symptoms vary widely in patients who have had COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proposed a unifying name for the condition: post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC.
UC Health’s clinic provides a team of multidisciplinary specialists and subspecialists to help patients who have been diagnosed with PASC and referred to UC Health by their primary care physicians.
“COVID-19 is not done with us, and we are not done with COVID-19,” said Charles Hattemer, MD, chief of Cardiovascular Health and Disease and the Mabel Stearns Stonehill Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and a UC Health physician. “As Greater Cincinnati’s only academic health system, we are pleased to be able to provide a Post-COVID-19 clinic where multiple specialties and clinicians combine their expertise to help patients suffering from PASC. We can help.”
“The UC Health Post-COVID-19 Clinic is for patients recovering from significant, lingering conditions of COVID-19 infection. The associated symptoms can be as varied as persistent shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, impaired stamina, chest pain, palpitations, dizzy spells, exercise intolerance, wide-swings in blood pressure or impaired concentration,” Hattemer said. “If a patient demonstrates symptoms like this 20 days or more after a COVID-19 infection, his or her primary care physician may consider an evaluation to determine if the patient may need specialized care at our clinic.”
After a patient is diagnosed with possible PASC and referred by their primary care provider, an initial consultation is held with a UC Health cardiologist or pulmonologist via telehealth. UC Health specialists will frequently initiate a panel of simple tests to better understand the patient’s condition.
The tests will be followed by a face-to-face clinic visit on UC Health’s Clifton Campus with a subspecialist best suited to each patient’s unique condition. The UC Health Post-COVID-19 Clinic includes subspecialists in cardiology, pulmonology, neurology, rheumatology, psychology and dermatology.
The Post-COVID-19 Clinic is led by Richard C. Becker, MD, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine, director of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute and a UC Health physician; and Rachel Foot, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician.
Experts at UC and UC Health are also conducting clinical and scientific research into PASC to learn more about how COVID-19 affects this subset of patients.
“In addition to providing a consolidated clinic where we have the resources to provide cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, physical therapy and subspeciality care, we also are conducting research into PASC,” Becker said. “As the region’s academic health system, we are uniquely positioned to conduct such research, and what we learn is translated to the patient and the care that is provided to them.”
Primary care physicians can refer their patients to the clinic by calling 513-475-8521.