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Current Affairs

Lung damage and blood clots after Covid-19

Date: 19 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

As the number of novel coronavirus infections in India surges, doctors have been increasingly reporting several relatively new conditions associated with Covid-19.

 

Background

Among these conditions are lung damage, known as lung fibrosis, and blood clots in the pulmonary artery – Pulmonary Thrombo Embolism or PTE, which are seen in persons who have recovered from very severe cases of the disease.

 

Details

  • Pulmonologists across the world have been flagging these conditions over the past few weeks as persons who have recovered from Covid-19 are going back to hospitals with breathing problems due to lung damage.

  • Pulmonologists say people with severe symptoms of the coronavirus could be dealing with lung complications for years after recovery.

  • The damage caused by the infection leads to scarring of the lungs, which has a long-term impact on the quality of life.

  • Lung fibrosis requires home oxygenation support even after discharge and recovery. In some cases, the cardiac health of the patient may be affected – causing ‘cor pulmonale’ or failure of the right ventricle of the heart, which is a known complication of chronic severe lung disorders.

  • Covid-19 initially attacks the lungs, leaving the air sacs filled with fluid, limiting their capacity to absorb oxygen, which ultimately leads to symptoms like shortness of breath, cough, etc.

 

Treatment

  • The methods of taking care of these conditions include the administering of medications such as anticoagulants and anti-fibrotic drugs along with home oxygenation if required.

  • Anticoagulants usually help in preventing the formation or enlargement of blood clots, whereas anti-fibrotics reduce the risk of acute respiratory degradation.