Many COVID-19 survivors struggle with lingering health issues

Some could go on for six months
Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 01, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — After battling the potentially deadly coronavirus, some COVID-19 patients have reported lingering health issues. Everything from mental health issues to difficulty sleeping to cognitive problems.

Doctors at Indiana University Health say there are several lasting effects from the novel coronavirus. Some of these symptoms have lasted up to six months after recovering from the virus.

Dr. Sikandar Khan said 60% of patients have complained of a low quality of life, in his estimation.

“Their stamina is not the same,” he said. “They get easily fatigued and they have a lot of pain in their body.”

IU Health established their ICU Survivor Center in May in response to COVID-19, noticing there was a wide variety of lingering effects in their patients.

“Even months out from surviving and going through rehab, patients are still dealing with a lot of rehabilitating symptoms,” Khan said. “And so for them, recovery is not just discharging from the hospital and feeling great again, but it is months if not years of recovery.”

Patients who are older, he said, with more medical problems will often have longer recoveries. But that’s not always the case with every patient.

“We were quite taken aback that even our young patients — our youngest being 22-years of age that we have already seen in our ICU Survivor Center — even those patients were having a lot of difficulty adjusting back to life after COVID,” Khan said.

As we learn more about this virus every day, he encourages anyone feeling any lasting symptoms to seek help. The IU Health service is available to any patient after an ICU stay — no matter what hospital the patient was treated at.

This story originally reported by Stephanie Wade on