UAB Chief of Hospital Medicine talks long term COVID-19 side effects

Updated: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:23 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB Hospital is seeing patients suffer from the lasting effects of COVID-19, some not even able to leave the hospital.

As of January 13, 2021, UAB hospital had 67 patients who no longer have an active covid-19 infection, but the virus left lasting impacts on their bodies.

UAB Chief of Hospital medicine Dr. Kierstin Kennedy said the virus can attack many different organs.

She said the hospital sees patients suffering from lasting effects on the kidneys, like kidney damage. She said liver damage is also appearing in patients after battling COVID-19. Dr. Kennedy said the side effects don’t go away quickly.

“It has extensive effects on the body,” Dr. Kennedy said. “Both of the lungs. People have significant lung damage, requiring high amounts of oxygen. That takes weeks sometimes for people to improve and get to a place where they are stable enough to go home.”

Dr. Kennedy said while the patients are no longer in the COVID unit and that lowers the COVID patient count, they are still in the hospital and it still puts a significant strain on the health care system.

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