With metro Atlanta seeing a recent increase in cases in the COVID-19 pandemic, Piedmont Healthcare’s Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Division has opened the outpatient Piedmont Pulmonary COVID-19 Recovery Clinic to help patients who have recovered from contracting the virus but continue to experience lingering symptoms.

It’s located on the Piedmont Atlanta Hospital campus in Buckhead.

“As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, we are starting to see a subgroup of patients we’re calling COVID long haulers,” Jermaine Jackson, M.D., a specialist in critical care medicine and pulmonology and the clinic’s director, said in a news release. “These are patients who have cleared the initial infection, but are experiencing lingering residual issues.”

Those residual issues can impact multiple systems in the body. Jackson said the most common include pulmonary problems (such as shortness of breath and cough), neurological issues (such as dizziness and short-term memory problems), psychological problems (grief, anxiety, depression, PTSD), cardiac issues, renal problems and nutrition issues.

“Piedmont started this clinic to streamline care for patients who are experiencing a longer recovery from issues related to COVID-19,” Jackson said. “We knew it was important to provide a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to support these patients as they continue to recover.”

The clinic helps patients manage persistent symptoms including shortness of breath and cough and can provide supplemental oxygen, pulmonary function support, diagnostic services, pulmonary rehabilitation and imaging, laboratory testing and connections to other specialists if necessary.

“The mission of this clinic is to offer COVID-19 patients a treatment pathway that is patient-centered and focused on managing common COVID-19 complications,” Coy Lassiter, M.D., chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine with Piedmont Physician Enterprise, said in the release. “We want our patients to know they have someone to see them through their journey of recovery from COVID-19.”

The clinic is open to patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19, even if they had a mild-to-moderate infection that didn’t require hospitalization. For more information, visit www.piedmont.org/pulmonology/recovery-clinic.

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