University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Physician Assistant After Working in an ICU During COVID-19

Arjun Vadlamudi, BS; Kishan Srikanth, BS; David Driscoll, PhD; Sriram Ramaswamy, MD

WMJ. 2022;121(3):e34-e37

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Introduction: We present a case report of a physician assistant who experiences posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from providing care to patients affected with COVID-19. We believe this case is important as it will reveal the unfortunate impact COVID-19 has on the mental health of health care professionals.

Case Presentation: A 51-year-old White woman presented to our clinic with a 1-year history of panic attacks, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, social withdrawal, guilt, and depression.

Discussion: Cross-sectional, survey-based studies have highlighted PTSD rates in health care workers during the pandemic, but these studies have not explored how exactly PTSD presents on the individual level.

Conclusions: This case presents a compelling reflection on what could be a larger trend of increasing mental health issues as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasizes the need for better mental health support and infrastructure to be in place for the well-being of the health care workers in this country.

Author Affiliations: Creighton School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska (Vadlamudi, Srikanth, Ramaswamy, Driscoll).
Corresponding Author: Sriram Ramaswamy, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Methodist Freemont Health, 420 E 234d St, Fremont, NE 68025; phone 402.280.1184; email; ORCID ID 0000-0001-5511-4716
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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