BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB is using the term “COVID convalesced” when describing some of the COVID-19 patients being treated at the hospital?
What does that mean?
According to UAB “COVID convalesced” is used when a patient is no longer considered infectious to others and can be moved out of a COVID-specific care unit, but is still sick and requires intensive medical attention.
UAB leaders said different hospitals report patient counts in different ways and “COVID convalesced” is how UAB identifies a patient who may be considered infectious, but they still need a bed and hospital care to get better.
According to UAB: “Many COVID-convalesced patients remain sick or potentially unable to survive without intensive medical attention and care; but since they are technically not infectious with COVID-19 any longer, they are not factored in the active COVID-19 census. It is important to note that these patients may be experiencing prolonged or severe illness that they would not have experienced had it not been for COVID-19.”
Severe illnesses that can develop from COVID-19
Patients can develop inflammation in the heart and muscle lining.
Signs of kidney problems in patients with COVID-19 include high levels of protein in the urine and abnormal blood work.
Some people who recovered from COVID-19 reported neurological concerns such as headache, dizziness, lingering loss of smell or taste, muscle weakness, nerve damage, and trouble thinking or concentrating — sometimes called “COVID fog” or “brain fog.”
Why is it important?
According to UAB sharing the convalesced number in addition to the current active cases provides a better look at the impact of COVID-19 on those most affected by the virus and the hospital resources required to care for this patient population. During the current surge, many hospitals are faced with limited bed capacity, and making the public aware of the dire situation while maintaining transparency is paramount.
“Our biggest fear is not being able to treat patients presenting to us for care,” said Vice President of Clinical Support Services at UAB Medicine Sarah Nafziger, M.D. “We are in health care because we like caring for sick people and want to be there for them. Our biggest concern is that demand for our resources outstrips our capacity. We are very concerned that we will not have enough resources to care for the patients presenting to us for care, and that is not just for COVID-19 care.”