COVID-19 AND PULMONARY HYPERTENSION

The health of the members of the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community is the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA)’s top concern. Read on to discover how to maintain your health, tips for daily living during the pandemic, COVID-19 updates and ways to connect with PHA.

FAQ on Vaccines for the PH Community

(June 14, 2021) Several vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are available under emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for vaccination. Everyone 12 years and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Throughout the vaccine distribution process, PHA will address questions from the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community. We will update this information as scientific and medical consensus emerges about COVID-19 and vaccines. In the meantime, we urge everyone to:

  • Talk to your PH health care team about your medical conditions and about getting vaccinated.  Visit Vaccines.gov to find a location near you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Stay safe if unvaccinated by wearing a mask, washing hands and maintaining physical distance from others.  If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC indicates that you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.  Visit CDC to learn more about activities that you can resume once you are fully vaccinated.
  • Get informed by visiting PHA’s COVID-19 webpage for current and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. Find more information on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Three COVID-19 vaccines have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA). As of May 10, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received expanded EUA to include children 12 years and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J/Janssen) vaccines are available for people 18 years and older. See the CDC website for more information.

To get the COVID-19 vaccine, check with your local pharmacy website for available walk-in vaccinations or appointments. Check with your primary care physician or health care team to see if they offer the COVID-19 vaccine. Search the “Find a COVID-19 Vaccine” website, text your zip code to 438829 or call 800-232-0233 to find a vaccination location near you.

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Maintaining Your Health

Dr. Mardi Gomberg

COVID-19 Updates with PHA’s Task Force

In this video recording of a webinar from May, 2021, members of PHA’s COVID-19 Task Force discuss COVID-19 vaccines, virus variants, current safety recommendations and more. Michele Freeman, M.S., NCC, LPC, Mardi Gomberg, M.D., Fran Rogers, M.S.N., CRNP, and Thenappan Thenappan, M.D., provide insight on the latest information about COVID-19 and answer questions from the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community. Watch the video.

Resources for Copay Assistance Due to COVID-19

Struggling with your copays and other medical costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Discover copay assistance resources for people with pulmonary hypertension. Find available grants on the Pulmonary Hypertension Association website. Learn more.

Venita Welcome

A Conversation on Mental Health

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association recently hosted a Facebook Live Q&A, “A Conversation on Mental Health,” with licensed professional counselor Venita Welcome. Venita discussed the mental health challenges of living with PH and provided tips to manage those challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video.

Advocate Undaunted by Lupus and Lung Disease

After a bout of depression, Rosemary Graham joined the Lupus Foundation of America Georgia Chapter Support Group. Since then, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and later battled cancer. Today, Rosemary, of Atlanta, advocates for people with rare and chronic diseases. “I’m still on oxygen and have fluctuating symptoms, but I’m alive,” she says. “I am a PH warrior!” See Rosemary’s story in this week’s Right Heart Blog.

PHA Connects: Exercise and Pulmonary Rehab in PH

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association hosted an August 21 virtual town hall on “Exercise and Pulmonary Rehab in PH” with pulmonologists Jim White and Daniel Lachant. They discussed the potential benefits of an exercise, cardiac or pulmonary rehab program and what PH patients should ask before they begin exercising.  Watch the video.

Medicare Coverage of Telehealth Services Continues

Medicare coverage for telehealth services will continue at least through mid-October because of the continued public health emergency. It also will cover more types of health care services offered via telehealth, and lift restrictions on the number of covered telehealth appointments. Learn more.

How Are You Coping With PH? These PHA Videos Can Help

Looking for resources to help you manage anxiety? Kristen Holm, Ph.D., M.P.H, discusses how lung disease can affect the emotional well-being of you and your family in two Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) videos. “Living Well With Lung Disease Part One” addresses coping skills and social support to maintain emotional well-being. “Living Well With Lung Disease Part Two” offers tips to understand and identify anxiety and depression, as well as recognize contributors to psychological distress. The videos are part of the online learning platform PHA Classroom. Watch the videos.

Study: Pandemic Disrupts PH Diagnostic Testing, Increases Televisits

University of Washington researchers found a significant move toward telemedicine visits and diagnostic testing disruptions in the early days of the pandemic among PHA-accredited Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers (PHCC). Josh Lee, M.D., and Peter Leary, M.D., discuss their findings in the July 29 edition of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Learn more.

Elabore su plan de emergencia por HP

La Asociación de Hipertensión Pulmonar organizó, para el el 26 de junio, una videoconferencia sobre “Elabore su plan de emergencia por HP” con el cardiólogo Esteban Escolar. El Dr. Escolar analizó en qué consiste una “emergencia por HP”, cuándo buscar atención médica de emergencia y cómo preparar los medicamentos, suministros e información importante para una emergencia. Ver el vídeo.

How Would You Refrigerate Your Medication in an Emergency?

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association hosted a June 29 virtual town hall on “Make Your PH Emergency Plan” with pulmonologist Sandeep Sahay. Dr. Sahay discussed what constitutes a “PH emergency,” when to seek emergency medical attention and how to prepare your medications, supplies and important information for an emergency.

Discover Tactics to Manage Your Stress and Anxiety

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association hosted a June 12 virtual town hall on “Managing Stress and Anxiety” with psychiatrist Genie Priddy, social worker Marty Rice and licensed professional counselor Venita Welcome, as well as longtime PH patients and PHA support group leaders Joanne Sperando and Doug Taylor. Drawing on their professional and personal experiences, they discussed the mental health challenges of living with PH, particularly during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and provided strategies to help you and your loved ones manage those challenges.  See the video.

Telemedicine is Here. Are You Ready?

On May 29 the Pulmonary Hypertension Association hosted a virtual town hall on “Preparing for a Telemedicine Appointment.” Participants learned what telemedicine entails, how to prepare for your appointment and how insurance covers a visit. Cardiologist John Ryan and nurse practitioner Jennalyn Mayeux shared real-world experiences in delivering care through telemedicine to help you make the most of your visit. This event was part of our PHA Connects: COVID-19 and Your Health series. See the video.

Are You an Empowered Patient?

On May 21, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) hosted an online conversation about how to become an empowered patient with experts Victor Moles, M.D., and pulmonary hypertension (PH) patient Linda Santos Morgan. This event was part of the wellness series, PHA Connects: COVID-19 and Your Health. See the video.

PH Treatment Access and COVID-19

As information changes about COVID-19, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) continues to add to treatment access-related resources. Here’s what PHA learned this week about access to distilled water, the hydroxychloroquine drug shortage for PH patients with lupus and COVID-19 financial assistance funds. Learn more.

Will COVID-19 Affect Your Therapy Access?

As information changes about COVID-19, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association addresses treatment-access concerns from the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community. Find out about supply availability, oxygen delivery and lab test requirements. Learn more.

Videos to Safely Start a Home Exercise Routine for PH Patients

Feeling restless while sheltering in place? Consult your doctor about how to safely resume or add exercise into your daily routine. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) recently released five new videos designed to improve pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients’ understanding of major types of exercise. Check out the newest additions to our PHA Classroom videos.

Daily Living

Should You Send Your Child Back to School? PH Docs Weigh In

As a new school year begins amid the COVID-19 pandemic, deciding whether to send children back to the classroom can be difficult. Three pediatric pulmonary hypertension (PH) specialists share considerations to help you decide what’s best for your child. Learn more.

10 Tips to Reinvent Your Vacation Plans

Sharon Horning was looking forward to two concerts and a big car show this summer. When the pandemic forced her to revamp her plans, she took on a massive new project. Find out how Sharon and other members of the pulmonary hypertension community are making the most of summer and fall despite distancing. Learn more.

Sewing for a Cause: 6 PH Community Members Give Back

Several members of the pulmonary hypertension community have put their crafting and sewing skills to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re making masks for family, friends, health care workers and other ­first responders. We talk to beginning and experienced seamstresses about their mask-making endeavors. Learn more.

Helpful, Healthful Housecleaning Tips

Frequently cleaning your house can keep COVID-19 and other viruses at bay. Get helpful tips to clean and sanitize your home from the CDC.

Join Our Virtual PH Community

6 Steps to Join a Virtual Support Group Meeting

Social support is essential while the COVID-19 pandemic physically keeps people distant. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s virtual support groups help you connect, learn and have fun. Learn more.

Celebrate the PH Community’s Unity and Resiliency

In addition to honoring volunteers who have helped keep the community together during this challenging time, Summer PHling featured a virtual version of PHA’s traditional fashion show. Watch PHers walk the virtual catwalk, showing off how they flaunt or conceal face masks, oxygen tanks, pumps and mobility devices. Watch the video.

5 Healthful Ways for PH Community to Connect

Much of the United States – and other countries – is under stay-at-home orders. Physical distancing can cause feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. Discover ways to connect with others in the PH community to share common questions and concerns – and connect with each other.

PH & COVID-19

CEO Update: Turning a Corner

Few people would have predicted a year ago that we’d experience a year under “quarantine.” As the pandemic enters its 12th month, we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your perseverance and continued hope are inspiring, and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association hopes you continue to share your stories of resilience, creativity and compassion. To help you manage tough times still ahead, PHA is enhancing its education about COVID-19 and vaccines. Learn more.

See our FAQ for COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association updated its Frequently Asked Questions with information about the new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson. The updates also address treatment, in-person school and pulse oximeters. Learn more.

COVID-19 FAQ for the PH Community

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) provides the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to help the community make decisions about safety precautions and daily activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

La hipertensión pulmonar y la COVID-19: cuatro meses en la pandemia

La Asociación de Hipertensión Pulmonar organizó una sesión de preguntas y respuestas en Facebook Live para el 24 de julio, en la que se abordará “La hipertensión pulmonar y la COVID-19: cuatro meses en la pandemia” con los neumólogos Vinicio A. de Jesús Pérez y Karla Cruz. Los Dres. de Jesús Pérez y Cruz analizarán la información más reciente sobre los brotes de COVID-19, los riesgos para los pacientes con HP y la manera en que los pacientes con HP y sus familias pueden mantenerse a salvo. Ver el video.

Pulmonary Hypertension and COVID-19: Four Months into the Pandemic

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association hosted a July 17 Facebook Live Q&A on “Pulmonary Hypertension and COVID-19: Four Months into the Pandemic” with pulmonologist Murali Chakinala. Dr. Chakinala discussed the latest information on COVID-19 spreads, risks for PH patients, and how PH patients and their families can stay safe. Watch the video.

Preguntas y Respuestas con Expertos sobre Hipertensión Pulmonar y COVID-19

Únase a la Asociación de Hipertensión Pulmonar (Pulmonary Hypertension Association, PHA) para un evento en Facebook Live en español. Este ayuntamiento virtual presenta una serie de preguntas y respuestas con Gustavo Heresi, M.D., M.S., sobre hipertensión pulmonar (HP) y COVID-19. Ver el video.

Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19, Your Child and PH

Discover timely information on what COVID-19 means to you and your family with a virtual town hall from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA). The event, covered “COVID-19, Your Child and Pulmonary Hypertension.” Watch it here.

Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Ron Oudiz

On Friday, April 17, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association hosted a Facebook Live Q&A with Ron Oudiz, M.D., on pulmonary hypertension and COVID-19. Watch it here.

Video: Coronavirus Tips for Pediatric Patients

As the coronavirus pandemic escalates, it’s more important than ever to stay in touch with your medical team. That’s especially important for parents of children with pulmonary hypertension (PH), says Nidhy Varghese, M.D., medical director of the pulmonary hypertension program at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Dr. Varghese advises the nurse practitioner-led Pulmonary Hypertension Association support group at Texas Children’s Hospital and serves on the PH Care Centers Review Committee. Learn more.

COVID-19 Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms which may be mild or severe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed the COVID-19 symptom list to include cough and shortness of breath or at least two the following symptoms: fever, chills, repeating shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Learn about potential symptoms and warning signs.

About COVID-19

A new coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 is causing a global outbreak of a respiratory illness, coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) outbreak in 2003.
Learn more.

Quick Links to the CDC

Resources

Find disaster financial assistance through government programs to help with food, housing and bills. Also find out more information about the CARES Act and other government stimulus packages.

COVID-19 Financial Relief Funds
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) offers a COVID-19 Critical Relief Program, which provides up to $1,000 annually to eligible patients for essential non-medical expenses such as rent, utilities and phone or internet service. NORD also offers a COVID-19 Rare Disease Premium and Medical Assistance Program that provides financial assistance for specific out-of-pocket costs associated with patient’s health insurance premiums, ranging from health insurance premiums and lab testing to therapy and equipment. For more information, visit RareDiseases.org, email or call 203-242-0497.