New COVID-19 treatment at UAB for patients with persistent symptoms

New COVID-19 treatment at UAB for patients with persistent symptoms
(Source: OSU Wexner Medical Center)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB Medicine has launched a new program to help guide patients who are still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms more than three weeks after a positive test.

The Post COVID Treatment Program is designed to help patients receive proper follow-up care in the weeks and months after their recovery process and will be open to all who need further medical evaluation related to COVID-19 symptoms.

This program is unique in Birmingham and it is one of only a few programs of its kind across the country.

“What we are seeing at UAB are patients with myriad symptoms from COVID-19 illness — what we are calling post-COVID syndrome — and they have follow-up medical needs that span across a variety of areas,” said Turner Overton, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and medical director of the Post COVID Treatment Program. “By combining our collective resources at UAB and directing patients to the specific clinical area they need, we will provide the best treatment for patients. This program will greatly enhance our understanding of the long-lasting effects of COVID-19.”

UAB’s Post COVID Treatment Program will ­use an algorithm to direct patients to experts based on their symptoms. Patients can make an appointment in the program through three avenues:

  • Self-referral
    A patient can make an appointment for themselves by calling the UAB COVID-19 Call Center at 205-975-1881.
  • Physician referral
    Both UAB physicians and community physicians can refer patients to the Post COVID Treatment Program.
  • UAB outreach
    The Post COVID Treatment Program will have a dedicated clinical care coordinator who will reach out to patients discharged from UAB four to six weeks after their diagnosis/care to assess their symptoms and care needs.

Patients must meet criteria including having a previous COVID-positive test, being at least three weeks out from their positive test, and exhibiting signs or symptoms from the COVID-19 disease process.

Patients will be directed to the appropriate specialty and be seen in that area’s clinic for further evaluation.

“We want patients to know that we are here for them during their recovery process and that we are committed to meeting their care needs,” said Donna Dye, MSN, director of Ambulatory Services at UAB Medicine. “We are learning more and more in real time about COVID and the persistent symptoms it may cause. We are confident that the specialized expertise that UAB offers will help patients in their recovery process.”

For more information, please visit www.uabmedicine.org/coronavirus. Those who believe they are a candidate can call 205-975-1881.

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