After being discharged, only 32% of COVID-19 patients managed to handle mundane activities like cooking and paying bills.
According to the most extensive study to date of neurological symptoms among coronavirus patients in a third of hospitalized COVID-19, patients experienced mental problems from confusion and delirium to unresponsiveness, according to the most extensive study neurological symptoms among coronavirus patients U.S. hospital system.
Patients with abnormal mental function experienced considerably worse medical outcomes, the study published on Monday in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology says.
The study analyzed the first 509 coronavirus patients hospitalized, from March 5 to April 6, from ten hospitals in the Chicago area that is part of the Northwestern Medicine health system.
The patients stayed three times longer in the hospital as patients with unusual mental function.
Dr, Igor Koralnik said that, after being discharged, a third of them couldn’t manage to cook or pay bills, shockingly.
The medical term for the altered mental function is encephalopathy.
It turns out that encephalopathy patients are about seven times more likely to die than otherwise healthy people.
“Encephalopathy is a generic term meaning something’s wrong with the brain.”
“Encephalopathy was associated with the worst clinical outcomes in terms of ability to take care of their affairs after leaving the hospital, and we also see it’s associated with higher mortality, independent of the severity of their respiratory disease,” he added.
The scientists didn’t pinpoint a cause for the encephalopathy, which can often pair with other diseases, especially in older patients, and can be triggered by various factors including inflammation and blood circulation deficiencies, Koralnik added.
Unfortunately, for the moment, COVID-19 patients who also suffer from encephalopathy have a grim label put on them.