Post-Discharge Symptoms among Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients in Nigeria: A Single-Center Study

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  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria;
  • 2 Department of Radiology, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

There is a paucity of studies on post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) among hospitalized COVID-19 survivors from Nigeria. We describe the frequency, types, and duration of post-discharge symptoms suggestive of PCS among previously hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a treatment center in Nigeria. We conducted a retrospective review of admission and post-discharge follow-up medical records of COVID-19 survivors admitted between April and December 2020. A standardized checklist was used to document post-discharge symptoms. PCS was defined as persisting or new post-discharge symptoms lasting at least 3 weeks after initial COVID-19 symptoms. The relationship between study variables and development of PCS was ascertained by univariate analysis. Thirty of 51 previously hospitalized COVID-19 patients (median age, 46 years; male, 66.7%) were studied. Seventeen (56.7%) of the 30 patients developed features suggestive of PCS. Approximately three post-discharge symptoms were reported per patient over a follow-up period of ranging from 3 weeks to 9 months after initial COVID-19 symptoms. Cough, fatigue, and dyspnea were the most common post-discharge symptoms reported. A few patients had symptoms suggestive of thrombosis and COVID-19 reinfection. Among all study variables, baseline COVID-19 severity was the only significant variable associated with the development of PCS. PCS is common in our setting and is characterized by multisystemic signs and symptoms that require vigilance by clinicians for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Long-term multicenter prospective studies are needed to characterize fully the burden of PCS among COVID-19 survivors in Nigeria.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Dimie Ogoina, Department of Medicine, Niger Delta University/Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, PMB 100 Yenagoa. E-mail: dimieogoina@gmail.com

Authors’ addresses: Dimie Ogoina and Hendris Izibewule James, Department of Internal Medicine, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, E-mails: dimieogoina@gmail.com and drhendrisjames@gmail.com. Stanley Zikeyi Ogoinja, Department of Radiology, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, E-mail: dimieogoina@gmail.com.

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