COVID patients with lingering problems seek help at ‘Post COVID Clinic’

Coronavirus

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Some COVID-19 patients are still dealing with lingering problems months after they were discharged, and many are getting help at the Post COVID Clinic at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

One of those patients is Clarence Troutman. The broadband technician from Denver was diagnosed April 4 and spent 58 days at University of Colorado Hospital. He was on a ventilator and in the intensive care unit.

But now, months after he was discharged, he still struggles with his grip. He has trouble using tools or gripping the steering wheel of the car. He has trouble with breathing and stamina.

“I’m hoping that is something that will change, but to this point it hasn’t,” Troutman said.

He says he also has trouble with wild dreams.

“The psychological part is something you have to work to get over,” he said.

He is now getting help with those things at the Post COVID Clinc at University of Colorado Hospital. 

Dr. Sarah Jolley is a pulmonary critical care doctor at the outpatient clinic.

“It does seem like if we can get people therapy early on, that can help to preserve some of their function,” Dr. Jolley said.

She says the patients have a variety of lingering problems, including muscle weakness, the inability to walk at the same pace or even go back to work.

“They can also have some memory issues related to confusion, short-term memory loss. They also often have psychological distress,” Jolley said.

The Post COVID Clinic brings together all sorts of providers including psychologists, psychiatrists, rehab therapists and pulmonary care specialists.

The clinic has treated about 75 patients so far, 40 of whom had spent time in the ICU.

“The goal is to get patients functioning in the same capacity, or as near to it as possible,” said Shannon Bortolotto, a clinical nurse specialist.

Troutman says he’s not there yet, but he’s getting better every day.

“I’m one of the most thankful guys alive, I really am,” he said.

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