Dr. Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, director of pulmonary pathology at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States, performed autopsies on two people who had tragically lost their battle with Covid-19.
He discovered that the lungs of the two patients, including a 77-year-old man, were covered with a thick, sticky coating – which is believed to be causing the breathing difficulties.
Dr. Mukhopadhyay was asked to review the results of the autopsy by the Chief Medical Examiner of the Oklahoma Office and his study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology.
Speaking to WOIO, he explained that it was the first time that the results were published in English.
He said: “In the past three days, I have received perhaps two dozen requests from around the world, from around the world, literally from Europe, Japan, the United States.
“What we are looking for in these autopsies is a ray of hope for a kind of discovery that could be reversible. “
One of Dr. Mukhodpadhyay’s autopsies was performed on a 77-year-old obese man with a history of high blood pressure.
The man had been in poor health for six days and his symptoms included fever and chills, but he did not see a doctor and was not tested positive for Covid-19 until after his death.
Dr. Mukhodpadhyay explained that the patient had become weak and short of breath, but by the time he was taken to hospital, he had suffered cardiac arrest and was therefore never treated for coronavirus.
As a result, Dr. Mukhodpadhyay was able to assess his lungs to see how Covid-19 affected them before any treatment.
And he found that there was a thick, viscous coating on the lungs that had inflamed the airways and damaged the air sacs – the elastic air sacs in the lungs – which caused breathing problems.
Dr. Mukhopadhyay told Cleveland.com that: “This is actually proof that the virus itself is causing the damage. “
The second autopsy was performed on a 42-year-old obese person.
Even if the man had tested positive for the coronavirus, it was not what had killed him. He died of acteric pneumonia, which he was at high risk of contracting due to his pre-existing health conditions.
This patient did not show the same thick coating on the lungs.
The study said, “Therefore, this patient probably died with Covid-19, not Covid-19. “
The study will help pathologists determine the cause of death for patients who test positive for coronavirus and help doctors find more treatment methods.
But Dr. Mukhopadhyay warned that while there is no drug that can reverse lung damage, but that antiviral drugs can treat it as soon as it becomes available.