Post-COVID Health Issues and Life After the Pandemic

Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine
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Season
2
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Episode
4

As of November 2020, there are reportedly 55 million people worldwide who have been infected by COVID-19, with over 1.3 million succumbing to the deadly disease. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Neville Berkman, the head of a new clinic at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, specifically designed for recovered COVID-19 patients who are experiencing post-COVID complications. Find out about the state of the virus in Israel, a vaccine update and when he thinks we will be living in a COVID-free world.

About this episode

About the Episode

As we release this new episode of "Hadassah On Call," we are witnessing an alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the globe. And with each passing day, we're learning more about some often-terrifying long-term complications for those who have recovered from COVID-19. These "after-effects" can run the gamut: prolonged coughing, digestive issues, neurological concerns, fatigue, psychological trauma, and memory and concentration issues.

To help combat these issues, the Hadassah Medical Organization has launched a new multidisciplinary clinic where people who have survived the coronavirus can meet with a team of medical professionals — from neurologists to pulmonologists just to name a few — to be assessed for these complications. Heading up this new initiative is Dr. Neville Berkman, the head of Pulmonary Medicine at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

"I think that there are a very high proportion of patients who have got problems," Berkman tells us in this special episode of the podcast. "I think it's too early for us to know how long these complications are going to exist or going to persist. It's new for all of us."

Berkman notes the seriousness of taking a scientific approach to these after-effects. "I think it's very important that the medical community has to acknowledge that there are a lot of disability issues related to patients who've had COVID, and we have to learn what to do with these patients," Berkman explains. "We're trying things like rehabilitation. We're trying things like occupational therapy. We have no idea at this point whether there is any benefit to be gained from drug therapy for these patients. It's an absolute black box at this time."

Despite combatting this new and unchartered illness, Berkman considers himself an optimist. "In medicine there's always something new and something more interesting every day," he says. "I think this virus continues to be extremely interesting, extremely challenging — both from a treating patients point of view and from a scientific point of view. Medicine is always dynamic and interesting and exciting and challenging, and we just like to try and find ways to help the patients. That's what we would like to believe."

What else you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Tips on how to celebrate the holidays with family
  • The latest developments about a coronavirus vaccine
  • What a post-COVID world might look like

Further learning

Hadassah inoculates first patient in trial of Israeli-made COVID-19 vaccine
Hadassah allows family to visit COVID-19 patients to enhance recovery
Coronavirus may never really go away, Hadassah doctors say

Read a transcript of this episode.

"Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine" is a production of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Hadassah enhances the health of people around the world through medical education, care and research innovations at the Hadassah Medical Organization. For more information on the latest advances in medicine please to hadassah.org.

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. If you haven't already, please leave us a review on the iTunes store. It only takes a minute and when you do it helps others discoverr "Hadassah on Call."

The show is hosted by Benyamin Cohen and edited by Skyler Inman and the team at the Hadassah offices in both New York and Israel.

This episode includes a promotion for:

The Branch
This podcast offers a glimpse into the everyday lives of Jews and Arabs in Israel forging meaningful relationships. Presented by Hadassah and hosted by Dina Kraft, "The Branch" shines a light on the stories of people living the example of a shared society. Together. Even though it’s complicated.hadassah.org/thebranch

Also, we're looking to you our listeners, for which medical experts you'd like to hear from in the weeks ahead on this podcast. Please let us know by sending an email to us at marketing@hadassah.org.