Clinical Management of COVID-19 Patients - An Update

Semin Nucl Med. 2022 Jan;52(1):4-10. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2021.06.004. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 virus may cause COVID-19 disease, which causes mild-to-moderate disease in 80% of laboratory-confirmed cases which may be community-managed. A considerable age-dependent mortality is seen among elderly and other at-risk populations but among young and healthy individuals it is < 0.5%. Long-term health issues have been reported following severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalization as well as after cases of mild COVID-19 without hospitalization. Upon receiving COVID-19 suspected patients at hospitals, patients should be isolated and PPE should be worn by all health staff when in contact with the patients. Additionally, patients are tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by PCR, and blood samples are drawn. Imaging is not pivotal for the diagnosis, but chest X-ray is a relevant examination for all and is used to determine severity and treatment need Abnormal findings on CT scans are found in most patients, most frequently peripheral ground-glass opacity and bilateral patchy shadowing are present. Patients are, according to their needs and risks, treated with oxygen therapy, anticoagulation therapy, steroids, antivirals, or immunosupressive drugs on special indications. Convalescent plasma therapy and monoclonal antibodies have a limited role in the treatment, mostly in severely immunocompromised patients. Patients with long-term sequelae should be evaluated in a post-COVID outpatient clinic. The most frequent reported symptoms include cognitive impairment, dyspnea, loss of smell and taste, and mental and physical fatigue although a wide spectrum of symptoms from other organ systems are also reported. The current treatment is based on symptom relief and rehabilitation as there is no documented specific medical treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • RNA, Viral
  • SARS-CoV-2

Substances

  • RNA, Viral