FORT WAYNE, IND. – JAN. 20, 2022 – Parkview is opening a new clinic to support children with post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, more commonly known as “long-haulers.”
The Pediatric Post-COVID Long Hauler Clinic was created by Parkview Physicians Group - Pediatric Infectious Diseases to provide specialized support for children dealing with chronic symptoms of COVID-19. Parkview opened a post-COVID clinic for adults in March of 2021; the new clinic is the first post-COVID clinic in the region to specialize in caring for children.
The goal of the Pediatric Post-COVID Long Hauler Clinic is to restore patients to their pre-COVID function. Using a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, the clinic will offer care from several pediatric subspecialties: infectious diseases, pulmonology, cardiology, pharmacy and physical therapy. If needed, the clinic will consult with other pediatric subspecialties. Patients will also have support from a nurse navigator.
“We found that children with post-COVID symptoms were often needing to see multiple pediatric subspecialists. By opening a long-hauler clinic, we can better coordinate their care,” said Robyn Schmucker, MD, Parkview Physicians Group - Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “Initial testing is completed in the first visit, allowing us to create an individualized treatment plan. Even with effective treatment, it can take months for symptoms to resolve, so we like to assess patients as soon as possible.”
The most common COVID-19 long-hauler symptoms for pediatric patients include headache, fatigue, brain fog and abdominal pain. Many children also present with symptoms of depression due to the impact their post-COVID symptoms have had on their academic, athletic and social lives.
“Children with long-hauler symptoms often feel defeated. The simple validation that their symptoms are real gives them hope,” said Denise Gilham, NP, Parkview Physicians Group – Pediatric Pulmonary and Critical Care.
The new clinic opened in December and is already seeing patients via referral. To qualify for referral, patients must be under the age of 18, have a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and be at least four weeks post-diagnosis with lingering symptoms. For more information or to request a referral, contact your pediatrician or primary care provider.