Long-term COVID-19 side-effects

Research Area
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, most attention has been focused on containing transmission, managing the severe and critically ill patients and preventing deaths. In the coming months, emphasis will move to the long-term outcomes of all coronavirus survivors.

This study will investigate ongoing medical issues for survivors of COVID-19. Reports from China, Europe and the UK document significant effects on pulmonary, cardiac, functional, cognitive and psychological systems, worse in those severely affected by COVID-19, but still present in those with milder cases.

This project will recruit 200 survivors attached to the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, and document changes over a six-month period to explore recovery and assess if there is a need for referral and rehabilitation programs for all patients testing positive. It will also provide valuable information if there is a second wave of COVID-19 infections following easing of government restrictions.

Patients will be split into three groups:

Mild disease: non-pneumonia and mild pneumonia – 81%
Severe disease: dyspnea, and increased oxygen requirement – 14%
Critical disease: respiratory failure, and/or multiple organ failure – 5% of cases

Patients will be asked to return and be tested every 2 months, for six months.

Jennifer Paratz
Principal Research Fellow and Specialist Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapist                                      
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

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