Like a “blanket of fatigue” – Inside Groote Schuur’s long-COVID clinic

Like a “blanket of fatigue” – Inside Groote Schuur’s long-COVID clinic

As a third wave of COVID-19 looms in the Western Cape, a group of doctors at Groote Schuur Hospital’s Post-COVID-19 Lung Disease Clinic are treating patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but who suffer lingering symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Bienne Huisman paid them a visit.

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COVID-19: Second wave was “like a tsunami”, reflects Tygerberg doctor

COVID-19: Second wave was “like a tsunami”, reflects Tygerberg doctor

Spotlight first interviewed physician and infectious diseases specialist Dr Arifa Parker in May last year as South Africa’s first wave of COVID-19 was building up. Eleven very difficult months later, Bienne Huisman checks in with Parker to hear how things are going on the frontlines at Tygerberg Hospital.

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Medical oxygen: The fascinating journey of a life-saving gas

Medical oxygen: The fascinating journey of a life-saving gas

Even in ‘normal’ times a reliable supply of medical oxygen is an essential part of healthcare services, but during COVID-19 surges the need for this life-sustaining gas has spiked to unprecedented levels. Tiyese Jeranji explores the fascinating science and engineering that facilitates this substance’s long journey from a production plant to a person’s lungs.

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COVID-19: The evolving science behind long-COVID

COVID-19: The evolving science behind long-COVID

A study published in the Lancet medical journal confirms that the health effects of COVID-19 can linger months after someone has ‘recovered’. Kathryn Cleary asked local experts about the underlying science and whether the South African public healthcare system is ready for so-called long-COVID.

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COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

People with COVID-19 and people with tuberculosis (TB) can experience similar symptoms such as coughing and breathing difficulties as both diseases affect the lungs. Exactly how these diseases affect the lungs, however, differs. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to a leading South African pulmonologist to learn more.

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COVID-19: Innovating and adapting at Zithulele Hospital

COVID-19: Innovating and adapting at Zithulele Hospital

With chronic health worker shortages and limited resources such as ventilators in rural public health facilities, how did Zithulele Hospital in OR Tambo District manage its COVID-19 cases? Tiyese Jeranji spoke to two doctors working at Zithulele about an innovative oxygen solution, infection control, and much more.

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Editorial: As COVID-19 numbers fall, much remains uncertain

Editorial: As COVID-19 numbers fall, much remains uncertain

How many people have actually died of COVID-19 in South Africa and what do we know about the possibility of a second wave? As the first, and hopefully the only, substantial wave of infections and death recedes, Spotlight Editor Marcus Low assesses the many remaining uncertainties.

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COVID-19: How mechanical ventilation has saved lives at Groote Schuur Hospital

COVID-19: How mechanical ventilation has saved lives at Groote Schuur Hospital

While high-flow nasal oxygen has been one of the success stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not always enough. Sometimes more invasive mechanical ventilation is required. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Professor Ross Hofmeyr on what mechanical ventilation entails and the measures his team at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town have employed to successfully manage these critical COVID-19 cases.

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COVID-19: “Some days tears were just flowing over my cheeks,” says Cape Town ICU nurse

COVID-19: “Some days tears were just flowing over my cheeks,” says Cape Town ICU nurse

COVID-19 patients often die without family or loved ones by their side. However, they are not entirely alone. People like nurse Anthea Willemse console them in their final hour.

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COVID-19: 65-year-old driver tells of his time in Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope

COVID-19: 65-year-old driver tells of his time in Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope

On July 22 Richard Abrahams, his wife, and three children celebrated his 65th birthday with orange cake and well-wishes. Less than a month before, Abrahams was struggling to breathe due to COVID-19 and receiving oxygen at Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope. He shared his story with Biénne Huisman.

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COVID-19: Western Cape and Gauteng prepare for the peak

COVID-19: Western Cape and Gauteng prepare for the peak

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the COVID-19 pandemic the gravest crisis in the country’s democratic history. Now, with the Western Cape and Gauteng making up nearly 64 percent of the country’s total confirmed infections, Kathryn Cleary asked departments of health in both provinces how prepared they are for the coming peak.

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COVID-19: How high-flow nasal oxygen is saving lives and sparing some patients the trauma of intubation

COVID-19: How high-flow nasal oxygen is saving lives and sparing some patients the trauma of intubation

Doctors at two of the Western Cape’s most severely impacted COVID-19 hospitals say they have seen positive outcomes from using high-flow nasal oxygen instead of invasive mechanical ventilation. Kathryn Cleary asked doctors at these hospitals to explain how and why this kind of oxygen therapy works so well.

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