Life Trapped In Post-COVID-19 Complications

by Chhavi Madaan | 2020-06-29

COVID-19 belongs to the coronavirus family. It shows similar features of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The biggest challenge for healthcare faculty is to find a vaccine for the ongoing Corona pandemic. But what after the COVID-19 vaccine is found? Will our bodies be the same again? We are exposed to deadly life-long complications in the post-COVID-19 scenario. COVID-19 affects the lung and the respiratory system. The death is caused by ARDS and pneumonia in several cases. The primary symptoms are dizziness, fever, mild cough, headache. The risk is higher with patients who have existing diseases like hypertension, cardiac problems, and diabetes. Researches conducted indicates that the death cases are higher in an old age group. However, young people can also develop serious life-long complications. The lung damage covers up to one of the most severe effects on young people.

How COVID-19 Results In ARDS?

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is the major outcome impacts Post-COVID-19 affecting the lungs. COVID-19 hits the alveoli (tiny air sacs) of lungs and damages the wall and lining of the alveolus and capillaries.  The alveolus transfers oxygen to the blood vessels. The thickening of the wall blocks the transfer of oxygen to the red blood cells (RBCs). This, in turn, cause shortage of oxygen and results in breathlessness or simply say, breathing problem.

How Covid-19 Cause Pneumonia?

Since the air sacs are damaged, there is a fluid rush of inflamed cells and proteins. This fluid build-up further constrains oxygen intake by the lungs. It is difficult to treat pneumonia directly in COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients are given supportive care. Studies show that 75% of the affected people develop bilateral pneumonia.

The surface area of the lung where oxygen transfers take place becomes reduced. This causes heavy breathlessness. The above discussed ARDS leads to inflammation stage and ultimately rises to the Lung Fibrosis stage. In several cases, lung failure is surfacing as the possible impact in the recovered patients.

The problem from curing COVID-19 patients to now dealing with post-COVID-19 complications of lungs is a major challenge for the healthcare professionals. Studies have shown Lymphocytic Inflammation in the lungs of patients who died from COVID-19. Steven J. Mentzer and a team of seven international researchers have examined the lungs of dead patients of COVID-19 and ARDS in England. This has proved substantial theories of lung complications due to post-COVID-19.  Distinctive features have been observed in the RBCs of dead patients of COVID-19. Findings imply that COVID-19 attacks the endothelial cells (vascular cells), resulting in endothelial injury.

COVID-19 Affecting Our Cardiac System

Cardiovascular disease patients have a high fatal risk when they are diagnosed with COVID-19 positive. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has released a clinical bulletin addressing COVID-19 effects on the cardiac system. It has been estimated that 40% of COVID-19 patients have cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. And, 7.2% of patients suffer acute cardiac injury in such cases.

Post-COVID-19 Complications Don’t Even Spare Children

A different Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease has been noticed in children with COVID-19 patients. This was first seen in Italian kids. Such similar cases have been reported in New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and the United Kingdom. COVID-19 diagnosed kids have severe symptoms and more complications. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Nothing has been concluded as full-proven results. The researches are going on a large scale all over the globe. Understanding the severe-lifelong complications, we need to devise our protective ways to encounter COVID-19. We must wear masks, use sanitizers, and protect mankind from this life-threatening virus. We have to become warriors of the world in this crisis.


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