The residuals of post-acute residuals of COVID-19 (Sars-CoV-2) may result in compensable permanent disability for many individuals (long haulers). A recent study outlines the potential compensable sequelae.
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the pathogen responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has resulted in global healthcare crises and strained health resources. As the population of patients recovering from COVID-19 grows, it is paramount to establish an understanding of the healthcare issues surrounding them. COVID-19 is now recognized as a multi-organ disease with a broad spectrum of manifestations. Similarly to post-acute viral syndromes described in survivors of other virulent coronavirus epidemics, there are increasing reports of persistent and prolonged effects after acute COVID-19. Patient advocacy groups, many members of which identify themselves as long haulers, have helped contribute to the recognition of post-acute COVID-19, a syndrome characterized by persistent symptoms and/or delayed or long-term complications beyond 4 weeks from the onset of symptoms.”
“The multi-organ sequelae of COVID-19 beyond the acute phase of infection are increasingly being appreciated as data and clinical experience in this timeframe accrue. Necessary active and future research include the identification and characterization of key clinical, serological, imaging and epidemiologic features of COVID-19 in the acute, subacute and chronic phases of disease, which will help us to better understand the natural history and pathophysiology of this new disease entity. Active and future clinical studies, including prospective cohorts and clinical trials, along with frequent review of emerging evidence by working groups and task forces, are paramount to developing a robust knowledge database and informing clinical practice in this area. Currently, healthcare professionals caring for survivors of acute COVID-19 have the key role of recognizing, carefully documenting, investigating and managing ongoing or new symptoms, as well as following up organ-specific complications that developed during acute illness. It is also imperative that clinicians provide information in accessible formats, including clinical studies available for participation and additional resources such as patient advocacy and support groups.”
“Moreover, it is clear that care for patients with COVID-19 does not conclude at the time of hospital discharge, and interdisciplinary cooperation is needed for comprehensive care of these patients in the outpatient setting. As such, it is crucial for healthcare systems and hospitals to recognize the need to establish dedicated COVID-19 clinics74, where specialists from multiple disciplines are able to provide integrated care. Prioritization of follow-up care may be considered for those at high risk for post-acute COVID-19, including those who had severe illness during acute COVID-19 and/or required care in an ICU, those most susceptible to complications (for example, the elderly, those with multiple organ comorbidities, those post-transplant and those with an active cancer history) and those with the highest burden of persistent symptoms.”
“Given the global scale of this pandemic, it is apparent that the healthcare needs for patients with sequelae of COVID-19 will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Rising to this challenge will require harnessing of existing outpatient infrastructure, the development of scalable healthcare models and integration across disciplines for improved mental and physical health of survivors of COVID-19 in the long term.”
Nalbandian, A., Sehgal, K., Gupta, A. et al. Post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. Nat Med (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01283-z
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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 firstname.lastname@example.org has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
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Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters