Investigating the Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infections: a Patient Oriented Canadian COVID‑19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network (CCEDRRN) Study
Some COVID‑19 patients who initially recover from the acute illness subsequently develop new or continued symptoms that last more than 3 months without another explanation. This is called “Long Hauler Syndrome” or “Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC)”. The Canadian COVID‑19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network (CCEDRRN pronounced ‘sedrin’) has been collecting data on men and women with suspected and/or confirmed COVID‑19 since the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020) in 50 Emergency Departments (EDs) from 8 Canadian provinces. These data include patient characteristics (e.g., age, sex, self-declared gender identity and ethnic background, ongoing illnesses, why they presented to the ED), what happened to them after the ED (sent home or admitted), survival after being treated in the hospital, and their quality of life at 1, 2 and 6 months after their ED visit. For this proposed study, we will adapt our data collection across 14 EDs in 8 provinces to add additional follow-up time points and gather additional follow-up information on patients suffering from PASC at 3, 6 and 12 months to better inform decision makers about the resources they need. We will also collect additional outcomes directly reported by the patients themselves to better document their access to healthcare after they leave the hospital. We will collect this additional data on patients who presented to the EDs and tested positive for COVID‑19 and on patients who presented to the EDs with similar symptoms but were COVID negative when tested. This will allow us to compare and more precisely define what is PASC and which patients are at risk to suffer from PASC and what they need to recover from PASC. The results of this study will inform decision makers and clinicians about the needs of patients living with, and recovering from PASC after leaving the hospital.