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Virtual clinic to support coronavirus patients launched in London, Ont.

The Urgent COVID-19 Care Clinic at LHSC is developed by six physicians at the LHSC to identify, triage, monitor, and manage the potential complications of COVID-19 through a new virtual clinic.
The Urgent COVID-19 Care Clinic at LHSC is developed by six physicians at the LHSC to identify, triage, monitor, and manage the potential complications of COVID-19 through a new virtual clinic. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in London, Ont., has launched a virtual clinic to support patients diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

The Urgent COVID-19 Care Clinic at LHSC was developed by six physicians to identify, triage, monitor and manage the potential complications of COVID-19 through a new virtual clinic.

Dr. Erin Spicer, a general internist at LHSC and one of the creators of the clinic, says they’d like to connect with anyone in London has who tested positive for COVID-19 as soon as possible after diagnosis.

Read more: Coronavirus: Actor Ryan Reynolds thanks London, Ont., hospital workers in video message

“Research is showing that patients with COVID-19 may not seek care until it’s too late because the symptoms of low oxygen levels may not be noticeable early in this disease,” said Spicer.

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“By the time they do exhibit signs and get help, they can be at a critical stage in the disease.”

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The clinic’s goal is to provide recovering COVID-19 patients with a process they can use to self-monitor their health with access to virtual physicians.

Read more: London, Ont. researchers examining use of A.I. to diagnose COVID-19 through lung ultrasounds

A pulse oximeter, which the LHSC describes as a device that is used to self-monitor the amount of oxygen carried in the body, will be provided for those who are assessed by the clinic to be at a higher-risk for hypoxia, an inadequate supply of oxygen.

Once the oximeter is in hand, physicians will explain through a virtual consult on how to monitor symptoms, how to use the device and when to call the clinic, the on-call physician or an ambulance.

Spicer told 980 CFPL Tuesday that the LHSC has run the clinic since early May, and has monitored 82 patients since.

The clinic concept was developed by Drs. Marko Mrkobrada, Michael Nicholson, Erin Spicer, Megan Devlin, Inderdeep Dhaliwal and Jaclyn Ernst.

The physicians plan to follow patients over the next year.

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