Although the influx of Covid-19 patients is declining in New York City as well as several other cities, but Dr. Robert Klitzman, Director of the Bioethics program at the School of Professional Studies, writes in The New York Times that an the need for care for Covid-19 survivors is on the rise.
The needs of Covid-19 survivors have received little attention, Klitzman writes, and must be addressed before their needs overwhelm the health and family systems designed to care for recovering patients.
What we do know from the limited data about survivors of Covid-19, and about how ventilated and critically ill patients fare after spending weeks in intensive-care units, raises significant concerns.
Klitzman lays out the different chronic conditions that can emerge from extended ICU stays and writes:
"How many will suffer from these chronic, disabling conditions that fall into what I call post-Covid-19 syndrome, requiring continued care and rehab in health care facilities or at home, is unknown. One of the shortcomings of the nation’s public health response to the pandemic has been its failure to collect and synthesize sufficient data to help us prepare to care for these patients. But from what we do know, their number is likely to be significant."