In June 2020, University of Iowa Health Care established the Post-COVID Clinic —the only clinic in Iowa dedicated to the ongoing care of patients dealing with the aftereffects of the COVID-19 virus.
With a new disease to treat, Alejandro Comellas, a UI clinical professor of internal medicine and director for clinical research support at the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, says his team of nine physicians not only provides support for patients, but also aims to understand any lingering symptoms they might experience.
Patients first undergo an assessment that includes a pulmonary function test, CT scan of the chest, laboratory testing, screening for depression and anxiety, and a grading of breathing difficulty. Patients then may receive follow-up care from a specialist.
By the end of 2021, the clinic had seen more than 500 patients from across Iowa. Here are some of the lessons Comellas says the clinic has learned about long-term COVID: