Expert assessment of frequent post-COVID syndrome in statutory accident insurance
In view of the complex clinical pattern that may follow a SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is not yet fully understood, expert assessment of the post-COVID syndrome represents an interdisciplinary challenge. Alongside the specialist assessment of infection-related organ damage, a main problem is the objectification and assessment of causality regarding multifaceted subjective symptoms, in particular a reported symptomatology of fatigue and dyspnea.
After confirmation of a SARS-CoV-2 infection (usually by means of PCR virus or antibody detection), a stepwise expert assessment procedure is recommended. In the first step, asymptom-oriented organ diagnosis should be performed in order to confirm or exclude as far as possible any organ damage caused by the infection.
In the second step, the subjective complaints reported should be indirectly objectified in the sense of "circumstantial evidence", based on as many indicators as possible. This step also includes consultation of the list of previous illnesses, the compilation of potentially competing factors as well as an appropriate symptom validation.
Based on the current state of scientific knowledge, this paper provides recommendations for the practical assessment of frequent post-COVID syndromes covering respiratory, neurological and psychiatric outcomes.