Health Statuses and Post-COVID-19 Conditions in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Series
Keywords:spinal cord injury, COVID-19, post COVID-19 condition
Objectives: To describe the health status and post-COVID-19 condition experienced by patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Study design: Case series.
Setting: Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Institute.
Subjects: Patients with spinal cord injury infected with COVID-19.
Methods: Participants were recruited from SCI patients infected with COVID-19 who had been admitted to the Sirindhorn Science Home Field Hospital for Persons with Disabilities or the Home Isolation Unit of the Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Institute (SNMRI) and who had been followed up in the SCI clinic at SNMRI. All participants were interviewed by telephone regarding their COVID-19 infection signs, symptoms, treatment received, post-COVID-19 condition, their functional capacity as measured by the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM)-III Thai version, and their overall quality of life rated on a 0-100 scale.
Results: There were seven SCI patients in this series: four had mild COVID-19 symptoms, while the other three required oxygen therapy. During the six months after the initial infection, all experienced post-COVID-19 symptoms. The most common symptoms were fatigue, dyspnea, anxiety, insomnia, cough, and muscle pain. Among these symptoms, fatigue was reported as being the most severe with a numerical rating of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Two of the seven had sought medical advice for their post-COVID-19 condition. Only one patient had a lower
Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) score after being infected with COVID-19 due to a reduced ability to use a toilet. Two patients reported lower overall quality of life during the post-COVID-19 period due to symptoms of fatigue affecting their daily living activities.
Conclusions: In this series, all patients with spinal cord injuries experienced varying degrees of post-COVID-19 symptoms. Some also reported reduced functional capacity and quality of life resulting from their condition post-COVID-19.
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