The coronavirus pandemic has been a learning experience for everyone, healthcare workers in particular. Each and every COVID-19 patient’s case has brought new understanding of the virus and the long-term damage it can wreak upon the heart and other organs.
While most people with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, experts say, some people — even those with mild infections — may experience lingering symptoms that can last for weeks or months after recovery from the illness.
“Just like COVID-19 itself, Post Acute Sequela of SARs-CoV-2 (PASC), or ‘long-hauler syndrome,’ as it’s been called, affects people in different ways,” says Heather Johnson, M.D., a preventive cardiologist with the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
The Institute’s Preventive Cardiology Clinic remained open throughout the pandemic, according to Dr. Johnson, and early on she started noticing more and more patients developing heart-related symptoms a few weeks after their initial infection. “We were seeing patients presenting with shortness of breath, abnormal heart rhythm, chest discomfort, blood pressure changes, ongoing fatigue and other symptoms after ‘recovering’ from COVID-19,” she says.
Dr. Johnson says it’s important to see a specialist if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms after recovering from COVID-19. “Here at the Lynn Women’s Institute, we’ll perform a comprehensive evaluation, determine if additional labs or imaging are needed and develop an individualized plan of care.” Some appointments can be done via a telemedicine platform such as Baptist Health Care On Demand, she adds.
The Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute provides women in South Florida with a continuum of care that addresses their unique medical needs from young adult through menopause and perimenopause, according to Michael E. Maucker, marketing manager for Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
“It features the latest imaging technology, same-day mammography results, the expertise of renowned physicians and a host of clinical programs, such as breast health, cardiac care for women and pelvic floor conditions,” says Mr. Maucker. A focus on wellness is also an integral part of the Institute’s mission, he adds, with offerings in integrative medicine that include massage therapy, acupuncture, lectures and support groups.