Some COVID-19 patients have lung and heart damage, but there is encouraging news for these ‘long hulls’



Until she fell ill with COVID-19, a New York novelist, Yvonne Cassidy, said she thought there were only three variants of COVID: “The lighter version, the version that keeps you in the hospital, and the version that killed you.” I did not know that there were others like me, stuck on the COVID plateau, not sick anymore, but no better. ”

Two months after the diagnosis of coronovirus, he found it difficult to walk even one block. “It turned out that we were a group that had a name: we were COVID long-haul. The Mayo Clinic and medical journals had published pieces about us, ”she said. “We had support groups on social media. We also had a hashtag. We were disappointed and scared. “

“With my doctor’s guidance, I did a very slow five-minute jogging in my already slow-paced schedule. The first time I did this, my chest burned and I doubled, hands on knees, gasping for breath, ”Cassidy, who had toyed with training for the marathon, wrote in an essay for Marketwatch. and today? “The goal is not 26 miles. Today’s goal was 30 minutes. ”
Cassidy was lucky. Some younger COVID-19 patients who were otherwise healthy had blood clots and strokes. Many “long-lasting” – COVID-19 patients who have been showing symptoms for months after the initial infection – confusion, difficulty concentrating, heart and lung issues, fatigue, insomnia, loss of taste and / or smell Including neurological problems.

“There is now evidence that the virus can directly attack the muscle cells of the heart, and also evidence that the cytokine storm that triggers the virus in the body damages not only the lungs, but John Swartzberg, a clinical According to “can damage the heart. Professor Emeritus of Infectious Diseases and Vaccines in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program.
“One thing we didn’t anticipate is that the virus is too fast to reduce the wound in the lungs,” he said in an interview with the university. “What we really fear is long-term shortness of breath that can increase anywhere from mild to severely limited.” They found that “disturbing” is that a report of a CT scan of asymptomatic patients was left with some scar tissue.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of these symptoms may persist for months. “The virus can damage the lungs, heart and brain, increasing the risk of long-term health problems.” Most people recover fully within a few weeks, but some people – who had milder versions of the disease – experience symptoms even after their initial health improves.
“Older people and people with many serious medical conditions can experience COVID-19 symptoms,” the clinic said. “Although COVID-19 is seen as a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it can also harm many other organs. This organ damage may increase the risk of long-term health problems. ”
See more:Scientists at Johns Hopkins, while investigating the strange side effects of COVID-19, have suggested that one method of coronavirus is to ‘set foot in the body’.

Yvonne Cassidy: ‘My chest burned and I doubled, hands on knees, gasping for breath.’

Although COVID-19 patients may suffer long-term lung and heart damage, there is some good news for these long runs. Such results improve over time, according to a team of researchers presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, which studies patients in a COVID-19 “hot spot” in the Tyrolian region of Austria.
Out of a sample of 150 people, some 86 patients were to return for evaluation at 6, 12 and 24 weeks after discharge from the hospital. During these visits, diagnostic tests, laboratory tests, arterial blood analysis of oxygen and carbon dioxide, lung function tests, computed tomography scans and echocardiograms (on the heart’s chambers and valves) were performed.
At the time of their first visit, more than half of the patients had at least one persistent symptom, mainly shortness of breath and cough, and computer tomography or CT scan showed lung damage in 88% of patients. However, by week 12 after discharge, symptoms improved and lung damage was reduced by 56%.


‘The good news is that attenuation decreases over time, suggesting that there is a mechanism to repair itself in the lungs.’


– Sabina Sahanik, a clinical PhD student at the University Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria

“The bad news is that people show lung weakness from COVID-19 weeks after discharge; The good news is that the loss diminishes over time, suggesting that the lungs are a mechanism to repair themselves, ”said Sabina Sahanik, a clinical PhD student at the University Clinic in Innsbruck and part of the team Who studied outside.
The average age of 86 patients was 61 and 65% of them were male. Unlike Cassidy, nearly half of them were current or former smokers and 65% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were overweight or obese. Eighteen (21%) were in an intensive care unit, 16 (19%) undergone aggressive mechanical ventilation, and the average length of hospital stay was 13 days.
CT scans indicated that overall lung damage decreased from week 6 to week 12. Lung inflammation and fluid loss due to COVID-19 was present in 6 weeks in 74 patients (88%) and in 48 patients (56%) in 12 weeks. “We did not observe any serious coronovirus-associated heart disease in the post-acute phase,” Sahanic said.
“The findings of this study show the importance of implementing structured follow-up care for patients with severe COVID-19 infection,” she said. “Crucially, CT revealed lung damage in this patient group that was not identified by lung function tests. Knowing how long-term patients have been affected by coronoviruses, relieving symptoms and lung damage Can enable treatment much earlier. ”

COVID-19 patients may have long-term lung and heart damage but, there is some good news for these long runs. (Photo: Getty Images)

The study is also supported by an article for first aid physicians published last month in the British Medical Journal. It states that approximately 10% of patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 remain unwell for more than three weeks, and a lower ratio for a few months. It was based on a study in which people log their ongoing symptoms on a smartphone app.
This percentage, however, is lower than that cited in many published observational studies. A recent US study found that only 65% ​​of people had returned to their previous health levels after 14 to 21 days of positive testing, which has happened to those who like Yvonne Cassidy who now have Not viruses, but antibodies.
Dr., a pulmonologist of the Intermountain Healthcare Hospital system in Utah. Dixie Harris told Marketwatch that coronoviruses suffer from long-lasting breathlessness, fatigue, memory issues, and even depression, but added that there is “improvement over time”. He said, “prolonged symptoms like – fatigue, that kind of thing – [have] Reported in MERS and SARS. ”
In a second presentation at the European Respiratory Society International Congress on Monday, Yara Al Chikani, PhD student and Hp2 Lab, PhD student at the Dualfit Senti Clinic for Pulmonary Rehabilitation at the University of Grenoble Allison, France, said patients soon after arriving from the COVID-19 ventilator Started a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which recovered better and faster.
They studied 19 patients who spent an average of 3 weeks of care and 2 weeks in a pulmonary ward before being transferred to the Dynufilt Senti Clinic. He said that in addition to severe infection and inflammation there is loss of physical movement, severe muscle damage. Breathing muscles are also affected. Most were unable to walk when they arrived at the clinic.
They did a test to see how far they could walk in six minutes. Initially, they were able to run only a fifth of that distance on average, but after three weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation, it increased to an average of 43%. This is apparently still far from normal, but supervised rehabilitation helped to increase their lung capacity.


‘The sooner rehabilitation began and the longer it lasted, the faster and better the patients’ ability to walk and breathe and gain muscle.’


– Yara Al Chikhani, PhD student at Dialufit Sante, a clinic for pulmonary rehabilitation

“Rehabilitation soon began and it lasted longer, faster and better in patients’ ability to walk and breathe and gain in muscle,” Al Chikhani said. “Patients who begin rehabilitation the week after coming out of their ventilators move faster than those who were admitted after 2 weeks.”
COVID-19 has now killed at least 889,542 people worldwide, and 188,954 in the US, Johns Hopkins University says. As of Labor Day, America still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases (6,280,400) in the world. Worldwide, there are at least 27,152,445 confirmed cases, most of which are not attributed to asymptomatic cases.
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‘The sooner rehabilitation began and the longer it lasted, the faster and better the patients’ ability to walk and breathe and gain muscle.’ (Photo: AFP via Getty Image)


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