A local San Antonio doctor is creating a COVID-19 Recovery Clinic for survivors and their lingering symptoms. Dr. Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez is the pioneer of this movement and explains that many patients, even after recovering from COVID-19 still suffer from mental fogginess, pain, or fatigue that requires rehabilitation. After seeing the effects of the virus, Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez saw the need for a clinic and went to work.
Dr. Gutierrez says the virus “…can affect patients’ long term or they may have depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress from being in the ICU,” Under University Health Systems and UT Health, this is the first COVID-19 Recovery Clinic in South Texas to treat the after-effects of the coronavirus. The rehabilitation program can focus on anything from physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or even psychotherapy to help patients fully recover from the disease. As Dr. Gutierrez establishes an outlet for those who need it, she’s also conferring with COVID-19 survivors and is studying research from other countries on long term hospitalization and the effect it has on the body.
She says, “In three days, patients who have multi-organ failure can already have 10% loss in muscle mass and by 10 days they can lose 25% of their muscle mass and so that’s the importance of getting as much exercise, even as soon as they can, in the hospital and in the ICU setting,” 86 year old Consuelo Rodriguez stayed in the hospital for a week and participated in rehab for three weeks and vouches for the veracity and effectivity of the COVID-19 Recovery Clinic.
However, rehab is not limited to patients who were hospitalized. The program is helpful to those with mild or moderate cases of the disease as well. “Patients are having issues with their memory. Trying to get back to your life and then you’re noticing these issues, ‘oh I’m not processing as fast or I can’t come up with that word and that is something that can definitely be rehabilitated.”, says Dr. Gutierrez.
The clinic is open to all in south Texas that have lingering symptoms of the coronavirus. The clinic is also providing virtual options for patients. To be eligible for the clinic, you must have medical clearance for admission by a PCP, cardiologist, or pulmonary physician and must have no symptoms for 14 days.
Dr. Gutierrez said the clinic is open to anyone in south Texas suffering from lingering symptoms of COVID-19. They’re also offering patients virtual options. You will need medical clearance for admission by a primary care physician, cardiologist, or pulmonary physician and must be 14 days asymptomatic. You can call the COVID-19 recovery clinic at 210-450-6470.