Post-COVID Health Issues and Life After the Pandemic
Dr. Neville Berkman is the Director of Hadassah's Institute of Pulmonology and head of its Adult and Invasive Pulmonology Unit. He is also the head of a new multidisciplinary clinic opened at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem to evaluate patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and are experiencing post-COVID complications.
Dr. Berkman attended Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, receiving his undergraduate and medical school degrees before making aliyah. He attended the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine for his residency and also did a fellowship at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Spending most of his career at Hadassah, Dr. Berkman has become one of Israel's top experts in pulmonology with ongoing professional memberships in the Israel Society of Pulmonology, American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and is an ongoing Fellow at the Royal College of Physicians of the UK.
A frequent speaker and panelist at many professional conferences, he is currently an Associate Professor at the Hadassah–Hebrew University School of Medicine and has submitted over 100 research papers related to the field of pulmonology.
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
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
"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.
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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.
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