Since the start of the epidemic, thousands of patients have had to be hospitalized, especially in intensive care, because of the coronavirus. Some then suffer from post-traumatic stress.

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Covid: post-traumatic stress after hospitalization

Eight months later, this memory still haunts her. Last April, Jocelyne, 66, contracted COVID-19. She had to be hospitalized urgently at the Lille University Hospital and placed on oxygen. This episode left its mark. “In the hospital, I was always afraid of losing oxygen while sleeping. Suddenly, my nightmare was always the same: I was losing oxygen. I was in fear, if not of death, but at least of danger. I also had flashes during the day and I was crying for nothing. ”

The trauma of hospitalization

Jocelyne developed post-traumatic stress disorder. For many patients who fell ill last spring, the diagnosis, hospitalization and resuscitation are experienced as trauma, which can leave psychological consequences.

This is why Dr Mathilde Horn, psychiatrist at Lille University Hospital, and her team have set up regular monitoring for these traumatized patients. “These are people who for the most part are in good health but who believe they are dying overnight. It was found that in the acute phase of the disease, one third of the patients were under acute stress. And when we call them back a month later, 7% have post-traumatic stress disorder. ”

Lille University Hospital offers psychological follow-up

Jocelyne sees a psychologist from Lille University Hospital twice a week. Little by little, she learns to accept and manage her anxieties in order to resume a normal life. Most of the time, these patients do not have a psychiatric history. The priority is to detect them as quickly as possible in order to offer them appropriate care.

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