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04 Jul 2022

Long Covid clinic to open at University Hospital Limerick

University Hospital Limerick, in Dooradoyle, suffered its highest level of overcrowding for the month of July

A CLINIC for patients dealing with Long Covid will be established in Limerick, the University of Limerick Hospitals Group have confirmed. 

Currently, the nearest Long Covid clinics to Limerick are located in Galway and Waterford with one in 10 people developing Long Covid after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Long Covid is defined as when symptoms persist longer than 12 weeks after infection and are not due to another diagnosis. 

According to the World Health Organisation, the most common symptoms include: fatigue, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, chest pain, sleep problems and a persistent cough. 

People with post Covid-19 condition may have difficulty functioning in everyday life and their condition may affect their ability to perform daily activities such as work or household chores.

In April, Daniel Butler, Mayor of Limerick City and County Council, wrote to Professor Collete Cowan, Chief Executive Officer for ULHG about the possible Limerick clinic. 

Professor Brian Lenehan, Chief Clinical Director for ULHG has now confirmed that a consultant has been identified at UHL to lead the clinic. 

Professor Lenehan said: "A model of care for long covid has been implemented which aims to provide a framework for a national approach to the design and delivery of services.

"A working group to implement long covid clinics in UHL has been established. The aim of this group is to plan for the commencement of the clinics and to develop pathways for same. 

"A consultant has been identified in UHL to lead on the implementation of the clinics in early April. We have received primary notification to staff these clinics. These posts are now in the early stages of the recruitment process."

Mayor Butler welcomed the news and said it is "great" that those with Long Covid can now get the support they need in Limerick as opposed to travelling. 

In June 2021, a HSE draft report stated that six clinics would be established across the country, including at UHL, costing almost €3.2 million. 

Research is currently being carried out at hospitals and clinics around the world on the long term effects of coronavirus.

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