SANTA MARIA, Calif. - While battling a COVID-19 diagnosis can be difficult for some, the recovery process can be long and unpleasant.
Physical therapist Paul Paravato of Marian Regional Medical Center gets ready to make his rounds with recovering COVID-19 patients.
"Our CCU is quite inundated with COVID-19 cases and the recovery of these patients is back to where we were for the last two rounds," said Avarato.
As the physical therapist deals with COVID patients ranging from mild to critically ill, he says some are intubated for several weeks.
"People not being able to breathe on high levels of oxygen and barely can get out of bed and I don’t see this slowing down," said Paravato.
Marian health experts say long term effects can include scarring in the lungs, difficulty breathing, and heart palpitations.
"If you are one of the few who were lucky to survive … the rehabilitation process is a very long one … it’s extensive … these patients have been in bed for … some up to a month," said RN Tonya Golden at Marian Regional Medical Center Intensive Care Unit.
Some recovering patients often have to go through full rehabilitation after being in bed for so long.
"Some people have taken over a year to completely recover if they do completely recover from this … so it’s it’s not just surviving … rehabilitation after is very extensive," said Golden.
Other severe cases include patients never getting off oxygen when leaving the hospital.
"If seen the devastation it’s caused … Ranging from just minor shortness of breath with simple task to even death … and if this can be avoided it it shouldn’t be that big of a deal," said Avarato.
Aravato says knowing what he’s seen at the hospital getting vaccinated should be a no-brainer.
Health experts at Marian Regional Medical Center urge the community to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven't already.