The study was conducted by Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s pulmonary institute and based on preliminary data gathered from dozens of patients who suffered from COVID-19.
Shaare Zedek Medical team receive a patient with suspension on coronavirus, outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on April 16, 2020.
(photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)
More than half of patients diagnosed with coronavirus exhibit general weakness and respiratory distress even several weeks after recovery, according to a new study by Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
The study, which was conducted by the hospital’s pulmonary institute and based on preliminary data gathered from dozens of patients who suffered from COVID-19, found that over 50% of patients displayed symptoms of respiratory distress whether they had a mild, moderate or serious case of the disease.
“Within the symptoms that we checked for, we revealed general weakness among the majority of patients alongside shortness of breath, sustained cough and other complex breathing and pulmonary issues,” said Prof. Gabriel Izbicki, director of the institute. “The majority of patients are not back to the level and shape they were in before their hospitalization.”
He noted, however, that these results should be seen as preliminary.
“This is a study of only a few dozen patients,” Izbicki told The Jerusalem Post. “It is very frightening and that is why we published it. But we are looking to have a few hundred patients and then we will see if our research is confirmed or not.”
He added that the goal of the research is to better adapt the hospital’s treatment programs to address these symptoms better and to gain information that could “help the entire coronavirus community worldwide.”
He noted that there is little information about the mid- and long-term effects of the virus to date and that most members of the scientific and medical works are either working on treatments for patients in the acute phase of the disease or on developing a vaccine.
This study is unique, Izbicki said, in that the center’s special outpatient clinic is testing recovered coronavirus patients at three months and plans to re-test them at six months post recovery as well.
“We welcome any Israel-based COVID-19 patients who have been treated and released either in a hospital or in a ‘coronavirus hotel’ to participate in the study,” Izbicki said. “The earlier on in your post-treatment the better so that we can best analyze these symptoms for the betterment of future patients.”
Recovered coronavirus patients can call 02-655-5999 to sign up to participate in the study.