Cleveland Clinic doctors see increase in POTS in pediatric patients after COVID
CLEVELAND — Eva LaBeau, 16, loves hanging out with her friends and is passionate about art.
“All art, music, painting, drawing, macrame. Anything I can get my hands on since I can’t do the physical things,” LaBeau explained.
The high schooler was involved in gymnastics until, “when I was a gymnast, one time I passed out on the bar,” LaBeau said.
The Michigan teenager went to the clinic in Cleveland for help in finding answers to her health issues. Doctors discovered a genetic condition and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS.
“It’s all going to get dark, and I feel really, really dizzy and I can feel my heart beating too fast,” LaBeau said.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a lot of words, but it means there’s an uncontrollable effect on the heart in response to trying to regulate blood pressure so the brain can function properly, said the Dr. Gary Butchko, Cleveland Clinic pediatric cardiologist.
Getting COVID-19 made LaBeau’s POTS symptoms worse. Now doctors are seeing more cases of POTS in children and teens who have had COVID-19.
“There’s definitely been a slight uptick,” Butchko said. Butchko said between 30 and 40 percent of his patients have some of the symptoms of POTS.
For LaBeau, getting a diagnosis was key to managing her condition and living the life of a normal teenager.
This article was written by Tracy Carloss for WEWS.