August 08, 2022
ASA Joins Coalition in Urging Congress to Explore Implications of Long COVID
On Thursday, July 14, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) joined a coalition of medical organizations urging Congress to explore the issue of “Long COVID,” or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). A communication signed by over 70 organizations was sent to key Congressional leaders
urging policymakers to expand engagement in addressing this public health challenge.
It is estimated that of the more than 87 million COVID-19 survivors in the US, 33 percent have PASC. Post-COVID-19 health problems include physical, psychiatric, or neurological conditions, which in some cases may interfere with activities of daily living. Understanding the core causes of PASC will help providers identify risk factors in patients which could develop into chronic symptoms. Seeking early intervention could protect patient safety and avoid potential misdiagnoses in the future and deter long term health care costs.
In the Congressional communication, the coalition advocated for specific ways Congress can address PASC, including but not limited to convening hearings, enhancing data collection and research, educating medical professionals and patients about PASC, and developing guidance for clinical treatment and care coordination. Several bills have been introduced in Congress that focus on these avenues and can be used as starting points for assessing the implications of PASC.
ASA is concerned about the impact of PASC and looks forward to working with Congress to improve patient outcomes of individuals struggling with the long-term effects of COVID-19.