OU doctor helps research COVID-19 effects on children

TULSA, Okla. — OU’s Health Science Center is helping the National Institutes of Health get a better understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19, in children. It’s part of the RECOVER, Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery Initiative.

When you hear of a study or research, those words seem kind of scary, but an emergency room pediatrician says this study is like going to primary doctor. It’s just an additional doctor visit to get all data together to learn how COVID-19 could impact us in the future.

We saw firsthand how COVID-19 impacted children. Whether it was from the being sick with the virus or even the mental and social part from being out of school. But what happens when they recover.

“When a four year old gets COVID, how is that going to affect them one, two, three years down the road,” said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health pediatric emergency medicine physician Ryan Brown, M.D.

The study needs kids from newborns all the way up into adults at age 25. It looks at your primary health in a larger scope.

“We’re following patients along on the long-term side of things to see how is your health being impacted by this. How’s your lung functions, your heart functions, are you growing like you should, doing as well personally, socially, academically, psychologically,” said Dr. Brown.

Doctor Ryan Brown is an emergency room pediatrician. He says diseases, like COVID-19 can cause different issues in kids versus adults, and that’s why doctors are trying to find more answers about COVID-19 in littler ones.

“Usually when we get to adulthood, our bones have matured, our health has matured, with kids, they’re developing, they’re growing, they’re constantly in a state of growth,” said Brown.

Those who are enrolled would be followed for four years. The process includes blood draws, saliva testing, and surveys.

“We’re still learning about COVID and the more we learn the better we can take care of our kids, family members, elders, so that we can combat this and be better prepared in the future,” said Brown.

With the focus being on children.

“You know five years from now, I might be able to say your 4 month old that has COVID, we need to look out for this, this and this, as opposed to, we don’t need to look out for anything cause a four month old doesn’t have any long term affects from COVID. That’s what we’re look at with this long-term study,” said Brown.

To qualify you’d need to have had COVID-19 in the last month or still be experiencing symptoms from being diagnosed before.

Participants will be financially reimbursed.

For more information about enrolling in the study, call (405) 271-2429 or email RECOVEROKPeds@ouhsc.edu.