We’ll be able to follow these patients over time, and there’s a research component that patients may really be able to contribute to our education and understanding of long COVID as a result of being part of this clinic.Ellen Eisenberg, MD
To provide ongoing care for COVID-19 patients with persistent symptoms, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) recently established a comprehensive care program for patients who experience what’s called Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome, or PACS – symptoms that persist 12 weeks or more after diagnosis. The care team is comprised of physicians across medical disciplines. DHMC is the first hospital in northern New England to establish a clinic for “long haulers.”
Listen to episode 10 of “The Cure Podcast” HERE
Two members of the DHMC PACS team – Jeffrey Parsonnet, MD, an infectious disease physician, and Ellen Eisenberg, MD, a general internal medicine doctor – recently joined “The Cure Podcast” to discuss the post-acute program, what they’re seeing in patients experiencing long COVID-19 symptoms, and what doctors and researchers hope to learn as post-acute patients continue to present symptoms and receive treatment.
“The idea [is] having a clinic that’s multidisciplinary that we can really direct patients to, and to providers who are comfortable dealing with particularly neuropsychiatric symptoms, fatigue, things like that,” Eisenberg said. “… We’ll be able to follow these patients over time, and there’s a research component that patients may really be able to contribute to our education and understanding of long COVID as a result of being part of this clinic.”
“Many people have acute COVID and then continue to feel poorly for an extended period of time,” Parosnnet said. “Some people feel poorly because they suffered severe illness and they’re recovering from the consequences of severe illness – being in bed for a long time, and maybe having had to be intubated for respiratory failure … There’s still a lot to be learned about who is at greatest risk for developing long symptoms.”
About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves a population of 1.9 million across northern New England. D-HH provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. DHMC was named again in 2020 as the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in 9 clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health includes the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only children’s hospital; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-HH system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.