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Truman Medical Centers creates center for COVID-19 long haulers

Truman Medical Centers/University Health
Posted at 7:41 AM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-18 21:37:44-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Truman Medical Centers/University Health created a center to help people that still feel sick after getting COVID-19.

Doctors call people with lingering side effects "long haulers." The hospital states on its website that it hopes to help people navigate those long lasting side effects from the virus after testing positive.

The hospital created a team of medical professionals that are in fields like neurology, physical medicine, rehabilitation services and more to help a long-hauler.

"We started gathering research and started hearing all sorts of research and stories and antidotes of people across the world, (and) especially in KC that were still suffering and not feeling their best," Laura Peckham, a registered nurse at Truman Medical Center/University Health said. "We have all the resources within TMC/UH. We pulled in some of the specialties and primary care providers that would know how to treat people with this array of symptoms."

Truman Medical Center/UH said people experiencing the following symptoms 90 days after testing positive for COVID-19 could be a long hauler:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Light headedness
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Decreased activity level
  • Body aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of taste and smell

One long hauler told KSHB 41 News that she tested positive back in December and still feels sick today.

“I’m tired. I don’t care what time I go to bed. I am tired when I go to bed. I am tired when I wake up," Shantell Williams, a COVID-19 long hauler said. "My mind still tells me 'Shantell you can move around, you can go fast,' and sometimes I do. But it’s like my mind is way ahead of me. My body is here and like my heart is trying to catch up."

The hospital lists a few ways someone could be eligible for the center:

  • Have tested positive for and have a confirmed COVID case. Patients will need to provide documentation of positive test result.
  • Are experiencing persistent symptoms, including but not limited to
    • Decreased activity level, including shortness of breath
    • Headaches, dizziness, prolonged loss of taste or smell
    • Cognitive symptoms such as memory loss, mental fatigue or brain fog
    • Mood disorders like anxiety, depression or PTSD