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Kennedy Krieger Long COVID clinic expanding services with grant funding

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Posted at 7:15 PM, Nov 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-01 19:19:22-04

BALTIMORE — Children dealing with lingering COVID symptoms in the Baltimore area are benefiting from a unique department at Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Post-COVID clinic.

Co-led by Dr. Laura Malone it's one of about a dozen clinics across the country that specializes in treating pediatric cases of long COVID.

"For a small subset of children they continue to have lingering symptoms that actually can cause significant impairments in their everyday lives, their ability to go to school, to do extracurricular and even to interact with their families," said Dr. Malone, M.D. - co-director, pediatric post COVID-19 clinic.

Typical Long COVID symptoms are slightly different from the initial infection.

"Some of the more common symptoms that we see are fatigue or sometimes brain fog or kids will describe it as difficulty with attention, concentrating in school, they might have difficulty with memory. Other symptoms, they may report dizziness, headaches or pain in other parts of their body. A lot of times kids just say they don't feel back to themselves," said Dr. Malone.

The Post-COVID clinic at Kennedy Krieger is expanding.

Thanks to five million dollars in grant funding that will be paid out over the next five years.

The funding will go to improve the patient experience along with research.

"So we're going to be doing some research as to what barriers to care there may be with children trying to get back to school and participate in school. Both from the family and patient perspective, but also from the school perspective. So we can develop new interventions and resources in order to assist with that," said Dr. Malone.

Understanding that it's one of the few clinics like this in the country, the grant funding will also go to expanding access into rural communities and to patients who may lack access to healthcare or insurance.

The grant program is already underway, it started this September.