Aspirus: Post-acute care needs ‘significantly rising’ during COVID-19 pandemic
For the Tomahawk Leader
WISCONSIN – Aspirus Health, on Thursday, Feb. 3, said post-acute care needs are “significantly rising” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Statistics and trends coming from inside hospitals have received much of the attention during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Aspirus stated in a release. “A closer look at other care settings reveals additional insights into the pandemic’s ongoing impact.”
The Aspirus Home Medical Equipment (AHME) team has seen a “steep increase” in patients requiring home oxygen therapy, according to the release.
Aspirus said AHME averaged about 20 new oxygen patients per month before the COVID-19 pandemic. That number rose to around 40 new oxygen patients per month early in the pandemic and spiked to 172 new oxygen patients in Jan. 2022.
“Pre-pandemic to today, we’re seeing nine times greater utilization of our oxygen concentrators,” said Cindy Rider, Aspirus Vice President of Post-Acute Care. “We also have noticed that 81% of those utilizing (home oxygen therapy) are unvaccinated.”
Breathing issues after COVID-19 are one of the known long-term effects of coronavirus infection, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Citing The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Aspirus said recent studies show that being vaccinated against COVID-19 can help prevent someone from suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19.
“Some of these people could have avoided this long-term or exacerbation of their diagnosis by being vaccinated,” Rider stated. “It’s not easy going to the grocery store with an oxygen tank.”
Aspirus said home care service needs have drastically increased over the past two years.
“Overall volumes at Aspirus increased from a daily census of around 500 to an average of 800 during the pandemic,” Aspirus stated. “The higher utilization of home health services has helped keep more people out of hospitals and allow them to recover at home.”
“Some of those patients that had a milder version of COVID or a milder illness were able to come home with our support, which historically they might have stayed in the hospital for a day or two more,” Rider said.
Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Aspirus said vaccination is “still the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and potentially having to utilize services for long-term health side effects from the disease.”
To learn more about Aspirus Home Medical Equipment, visit www.aspirus.org/home-medical-equipment.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, booster shots, scheduling information and more, visit the Aspirus COVID-19 Resource Center at www.aspirus.org/covid-19-vaccineinfo.