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Journal of Investigative Medicine ; 70(2):594-595, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1704925


Case Report Chronic respiratory sequelae are well documented in adults after COVID-19 infection, however, in young children and infants, evidence is still evolving. Here we report an infant with significant chronic respiratory complications after COVID-19. Case Report A 10 month old female with no significant past medical history was admitted to the PICU secondary to hypoxemia, respiratory distress, and respiratory failure following COVID-19 infection in January 2021. She was also positive for Rhinovirus and Enterovirus. CXR displayed worsening bilateral alveolar infiltrates, and she developed subsequent pneumothorax requiring a chest tube. Apart from mechanical ventilation, she received supportive treatment and broad spectrum antibiotics. Cardiac echocardiogram revealed pulmonary hypertension, PFO, and PDA. Due to worsening respiratory status and hypoxemia, she received bronchodilators, inhaled nitric oxide, sildenafil, steroids, and magnesium. After 3 weeks, her respiratory status improved and she was discharged. The patient required another hospitalization in March and an ER visit in April for persistent cough and shortness of breath. After evaluation by pulmonology, she began inhaled steroids and airway clearance treatments including chest physical therapy, hypertonic saline, and bronchodilators. Further workup ruled out cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and immunodeficiency. Chest CT showed diffuse bilateral patchy airspace opacities representing atelectasis and scarring. Despite a short period of improvement, the patient was hospitalized for respiratory distress in June, where she was hypoxemic and diagnosed with pneumonia. She required repeated outpatient visits to the PCP for persistent respiratory symptoms. PDA closure was performed in September. The patient continues to have persistent respiratory symptoms addressed with outpatient respiratory treatment regimen. Conclusion As we have ruled out other underlying causes, the patient's chronic lung disease and persistent respiratory symptoms occurred most probable secondary to COVID-19. This case report highlights the importance of monitoring respiratory symptoms in pediatric patients with severe COVID-19 infection for early identification of chronic respiratory sequelae.