By AFRO Staff
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted millions of people worldwide—from infants to seniors. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are more likely to have long-term physical, cognitive and emotional effects that linger after recovery. Recognizing the need for rehabilitative care for pediatric survivors of COVID-19, Kennedy Krieger Institute, internationally known for providing a wide range of services for children, adolescents and adults with diseases, disorders or injuries that impact the nervous system, recently launched a COVID-19 rehabilitation clinic for children, teens and young adults under age 21 who have recovered or transitioned from the acute phase of the virus, and perhaps the MIS-C syndrome, but need assistance regaining lost neurological and physical function as a result of the illness.
Kennedy Kreiger Institute is launching a clinic to treat children suffering with COVID-19. (Courtesy Photo)
“My colleagues and I understand the neurological and psychiatric residual impact that a virus like COVID-19 can have on a person’s health. Our goal is to provide a range of interdisciplinary rehabilitative services to help restore health and function following the recovery from the acute stages of this disease. Our special combination of skills, therapies and knowledge make Kennedy Krieger uniquely positioned to help these young people recover as fully as possible,” said Kennedy Krieger Neurologist Kathryn Wagner, M.D., Ph.D.
The interdisciplinary clinic, led by Dr. Wagner and Dr. Melissa Trovato, provides the following services: neurology, pediatric rehabilitation, mental health care, and physical and occupational therapies. Kennedy Krieger specialists will collaborate to determine the specific needs of each individual patient and develop a personalized rehabilitation plan.
“As we’re seeing more people recover from COVID-19, the post-infection effects range from muscle weakness and post-traumatic stress disorder to cognitive difficulties and aphasia,” said Dr. Brad Schlaggar, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute. “Given the Institute’s experience and expertise in pediatric rehabilitation medicine and in evaluating and treating children and adolescents with emotional, physical and cognitive disorders, we are uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive, rehabilitative care to patients recovering from COVID-19.”
Patients must have had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, are at least 28 days beyond a positive COVID-19 test, and asymptomatic to be evaluated by the new COVID-19 clinic team. Patients will be seen on a case-by-case basis (either during an in-person outpatient appointment or via a telehealth appointment) within the week that they, or their family call for an appointment. Those who need intensive therapy and rehabilitation may be recommended for inpatient admission to Kennedy Krieger.