Since the beginning of 2021, AAPM&R has undertaken comprehensive efforts to support our call for a national plan to address Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC or Long COVID) and the 3 to 10 million Americans it is affecting. In March, we launched a multi-disciplinary PASC collaborative of experts, led by Benjamin Abramoff, MD, MS, FAAPMR, Eric Herman, MD and Jason Maley, MD, to develop clinical guidance to improve quality-of-care as well as formal education and resources to improve experience-of-care and health equity. We are excited to announce that the first guidance statement has just been released!
The fatigue guidance statement is now published in the PM&R Journal. These guidance statements are intended to assist clinicians in clinical decision making by describing a range of generally acceptable approaches to the assessment and treatment of PASC. The recommendation statements attempt to define practices that meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances. The ultimate judgment regarding care of a particular patient must be made by the clinician and patient in light of all the circumstances presented by that patient.
“I am excited to share the best practices and initial guidance on treating PASC-related fatigue. This was, by its nature, a true team effort and we know it’s a great start in getting information out to physicians everywhere who may be seeing patients with PASC now and in the coming months. The timing is particularly crucial as the Delta variant spreads, understanding how to identify and treat PASC-related fatigue is only becoming more crucial. We need clinicians across the country to be able to do this work to ensure equitable access to care for each of the millions of people suffering,” said Benjamin Abramoff, MD, MS, FAAPMR, Co-Chair of AAPM&R’s PASC Collaborative.
“Fatigue is well known to be one of the most common symptoms of PASC that can significantly impact a patient’s well-being and quality of life. Given the complexity of SARS-CoV-2 pathophysiology, influence of pre-existing conditions and the relapsing and remitting patterns of PASC, the evaluation and management of fatigue remains challenging. Having a peer-reviewed consensus guidance to better manage fatigue will serve as a welcome and essential first step in developing a toolkit of best practices to manage PASC,” said Eric Herman, MD, Co-Chair of AAPM&R’s PASC Collaborative.
We are hosting a webinar on September 1 to discuss this fatigue guidance statement in depth and invite you to join us. Save your seat now.
“We are proud that a diverse group of clinicians from around the United States, with extensive experience leading COVID recovery clinics, came together to create this guidance statement. In addition, patients and researchers living with long COVID were essential partners in this process. This document aims to provide a practical and approachable guide to helping people who are suffering from fatigue as a post-acute sequela of COVID-19,” said Jason Maley, MD, Co-Chair of AAPM&R’s PASC Collaborative.
Along with guidance statement development, the collaborative is focused on development of PASC clinical infrastructure guidance as well. An estimated 80+ clinics have been created, and the collaborative estimates that each can only handle 10-20 patients per week on average compared to the millions of people who have symptoms. The need for infrastructure guidance will be critical to the collaborative’s goals and will support our overall call to action.
Additional guidance statements, including cognitive impairment, breathing discomfort, cardiac and autonomic issues, neuropsychology and pediatrics will be published on a rolling basis. Due to rapidly evolving knowledge on PASC, these guidance statements will be reviewed and potentially revised as new evidence emerges. To learn more about the background, read our consensus guidance methodology paper.
If you missed our previous announcement regarding the Biden Administration, check it out here. Our efforts are making an impact and the Administration released a package of guidance and resources to support individuals experiencing the long-term symptoms of COVID-19. It’s a great step in the right direction! Explore our long COVID efforts and stay tuned for the release of our additional guidance. View the full press release.