YNHCH launches program for children with lingering COVID19 symptoms

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

New Haven, CT (June 1, 2021) – Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has launched the Children’s Post-COVID Comprehensive Care Program to address the needs of children experiencing persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection.

“The program will be offered at our Pediatric Specialty Center located within the Children’s Hospital in New Haven to allow children and families easy access to a network of pediatric experts in infectious disease, pulmonology, cardiology, rheumatology and neurology in one visit,” said Elijah Paintsil, MD, pediatric infectious disease, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

Often when children contract COVID-19, symptoms improve and then resolve after a couple of weeks. In some cases children experience ongoing symptoms for weeks or even months after their initial illness – a phenomenon commonly referred to as “long COVID.” The effects can include an inability to tolerate strenuous activity, anxiety, chest tightness, cognitive difficulties, extreme fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle pain and/or shortness of breath.

“This program was developed in direct response to the needs we are seeing in our patients as well as hearing from their parents and pediatricians in our community,” said Rebecca Ciaburri, RN, Quality, Safety & Program Development, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. “From the teenager who had COVID several months ago and still has chest tightness to the younger child who had minimal COVID symptoms after a positive test, but now has headaches, we need to support our children and families who are no longer positive for the virus yet still have symptoms.”

While research is underway, evidence is starting to suggest that children experience longer term symptoms of COVID-19 similar to adults with long COVID. A better comprehension of this condition is urgently needed for children who, months after COVID-19, still struggle to return to their normal life. The Children’s Post-COVID Comprehensive Care Program provides tailored care plans based on the latest research to aid recovery. Nurse coordinators, social workers and other interdisciplinary team members ensure each families’ needs are met. “Children who had even mild or asymptomatic COVID may have long-term symptoms that will require support from specialists to achieve the best outcomes,” said Cheyenne Beach, MD, pediatric cardiologist, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. “We have every reason to believe that with the right medical care children will do well.”

In addition to addressing persistent symptoms after COVID-19, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital offers programs involving return-to-sports clearance for children who had COVID-19 along with management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).

For appointments, please call 877-925-3637 (877-YALE-MDS).

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), part of Yale New Haven Health, is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). Founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826, today, YNHH has two New Haven-based campuses, and also includes Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties.

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