Queen’s Medical Center Expands Services to Help Long-Distance COVID Patients
HONOLULU (KHON2) – Life before COVID-19 included many of Kevin Kondo’s hobbies.
âI was doing a lot of surfing, paddling and then when the pandemic started I was like, well, I’m going to do a lot, but it turned out differently,â said Kevin Kondo, a native of Oahu. who suffers from long-distance COVID-19.
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Shortness of breath, fatigue and brain fog after already catching the virus took him by surprise.
âI thought I was just aging faster. On the one hand, I was relieved that it wasn’t dementia precocious. Then I was a little worried because no one knew how they were going to handle the long COVID. “
The Oahu man is not alone.
“We see this as the next outbreak besides the COVID infection itself,” said Dr Dominic Chow, medical director of Queen’s Health Systems.
The Queen’s Post COVID Care Clinic has helped more than 100 long-haul routes since December.
âSymptoms can be persistent shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and brain fog,â said Dr. Fritzie Igno, medical director of Queen’s Health Systems. âThese are the most common symptoms or complaints that our patients tell us about. “
The clinic is expanding to meet the increased demand. There are currently 30 patients waiting for an appointment. Queen’s said everyone was on deck.
“We have cardiologists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, all responsible for helping the patient to recover,” said Dr Chow.
Patients need a referral from their doctor to make an appointment, and visits can last up to two hours for testing.
“There are studies that indicate this may be permanent for some patients,” said Dr. Igno.
“By preventing this from happening in the first place, we could certainly hopefully see less of these people suffering in our clinic,” said Dr Chow.
Kondo is looking forward to his first appointment with the clinic after three months of waiting. His message to others: don’t wait to take COVID seriously.
âThey think it’s like having the flu and then later when the long symptoms of COVID surface they realize it, but then it’s too late,â Kondo said.
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The Queen’s Post COVID Care clinic is now open Monday through Friday. For more information on Queen’s Post COVID Care Clinic, click here.