Analysis: Long COVID leads to longer hospital stays, time in OR

May 6, 2022

Though less is known about long COVID, its impact is being felt across the country. Not only do patients with long COVID experience long-lasting symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, breathing difficulties and joint pain, but the problems with long COVID extend beyond the individual and can impact non-COVID-related care.

Olive researchers analyzed data from 31 hospitals between October 2021 and February 2022 to show the implications for hospitals. The analysis found that stays for patients with long COVID last more than six times longer than non-COVID patients or patients with a history of COVID, and that operating room times are 14-17 minutes longer, on average.

Patients with long COVID were also 10-15% more likely to return to the hospital than non- or history of COVID patients. Combined, these findings suggest that long-COVID patients are taking up far more hospital resources than their non-COVID counterparts.

As the pandemic and our understanding of COVID continues to evolve, it’s important to remember the impact of COVID is felt beyond the initial care a patient receives to subsequent encounters.