Infographic: Bodily Systems Affected by Long COVID
Image credit: The Scientist, The Scientist Long COVID Infographic.com
Our Long COVID Clinic is here to support you in your recovery
The iHealth Centre Post-Acute and Long COVID Clinic will see patients aged over 16 years that are recovering from confirmed SARS-CoV-2 viral infection (positive RAT or PCR) but are still experiencing significant symptoms at least four weeks from the date of a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis.
We are currently working on a protocol for assessing and managing paediatric cases.
The iHealth Care Long COVID clinic will assess you to see if you have any identifiable organ damage resulting from the acute SARS0-CoV-2 viral infection. In our experience this is rare but requires management in collaboration with other medical specialists.
To assess you in the most comprehensive manner we are using an assessment tool co-designed by patients and validated by researchers. We blend standard evidence based treatment protocols with some low risk interventions based around nutritional supplements, exercise and supportive counselling.
Our Doctors and Nurses are supported by a multidisciplinary team of allied health professionals including a respiratory scientist to assess your lung function, an exercise physiologist to determine your baseline function and devise a personalised exercise and strengthening plan, nurses to check in with you weekly, counsellors and psychologists to support your mental health and a GP specialist in Long COVID care.
To be seen by our Long Covid Team please click on the following link to complete the Long Covid Screening Tool: https://bit.ly/iHealthLongCovid. The screening tool helps us understand how you have been affected since your COVID illness. It takes 15 – 20 minutes to complete.
What is Long COVID?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘post COVID-19 condition, also known as “long COVID,” refers collectively to the constellation of long-term symptoms that some people experience after they have had COVID-19’ [Ref: WHO].
The CDC points out that this condition goes by a variety of names. ‘People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.’ For the purpose of this clinic we will call this condition Long COVID. [Ref: CDC]
Current estimates of the prevalence of Long COVID range from as many as 1 in 5 to a more conservative 1 in 20 people at 3 months to 1 in 40 people at six months.
People who experience post-COVID conditions most commonly report:
- Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
Respiratory and heart symptoms
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
- Pins-and-needles feelings
- Change in smell or taste
- Depression or anxiety
- Stomach pain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Changes in menstrual cycles
How our Long COVID Clinic works
Once we have received your completed survey, you will receive a link to book an appointment.
At your first appointment you will see one of our specially trained Nurses who will take the history of your illness and confirm your symptoms from the intake assessment survey. This may be via Telehealth or in person. In person assessments will include standard biometric measurements (Blood pressure, height, weight, BMI and blood sugar) as well as an ECG.
Your next appointment will be with one of our experienced Long-Covid GP Specialists who will determine which pattern of Long COVID best describes your symptoms. Depending on this assessment you may be referred for further tests including complex respiratory function tests, an echocardiogram, sub max VO2, blood tests or brain or heart MRI. If you have any of these tests already please obtain the full results from your GP and email them to our Long COVID Clinic nurse at LongCovid_Indo@ihealthcentre.com.au
To simplify the process of obtaining this information we have created an online form for you to complete here.
Once you have completed the tests, the GP Specialist will prescribe an individualised treatment plan.
Your treatment may involve:
- a medication and/or vitamin plan
- an exercise plan supported by an exercise physiologist, and
- referral to relevant allied health professionals.
Your treatment plan will include a treatment program where a treatment is added each week so that we can assess what treatment works best for you. All patients have to complete the symptom survey weekly so that we can track your progress. Once you have submitted your symptom survey you will be contacted by one of our nurses to check in with you and assess your progress.
The Long COVID Clinic has been set up to support you to recover your normal function after what has often been a frustrating and upsetting experience. All of our health professionals are committed to supporting you and have done extra training to do so.
Nurse consult fees:
Up to 30 minutes $50 per consult (weekly)
GP Specialist per consult:
Up to 30 minutes $220 per consult (weekly to fortnightly for the first 8 weeks, reducing thereafter). Medicare rebate: $76.95
Costs for investigations vary according to provider – cost estimates will be provided at your appointment.
We provide detailed information on how to obtain the nutritional supplements we recommend. These are typically inexpensive. For convenience we provide these supplements for purchase from the clinic.