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YNHCH launches program for children with lingering COVID-19 symptoms

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has launched the Children’s Post-COVID Comprehensive Care Program for children experiencing persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection.

The program, offered at the Pediatric Specialty Center within the Children’s Hospital in New Haven, gives 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, YNHCH.

Often, when children contract COVID-19, symptoms improve, then resolve after a couple of weeks. In some cases, however, children experience ongoing symptoms for weeks or even months after their initial illness – a phenomenon commonly called “long COVID.” 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 and hearing from their parents and pediatricians in our community,” said Rebecca Ciaburri, RN, system director, Quality and Safety and Program Development, YNHCH. “From the teenager who had COVID several months ago and still has chest tightness, to the younger child who had minimal COVID symptoms but now has headaches, we need to support our children and families who are no longer positive for the virus yet still have symptoms.”

The Children’s Post-COVID Comprehensive Care Program provides tailored care plans based on the latest research. Nurse coordinators, social workers and other interdisciplinary team members ensure that each family’s 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, YNHCH. “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, YNHCH offers programs involving return-to-sports clearance for children who had COVID-19, along with management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). To learn more, visit