Tens of thousands of surviving coronaviruses were left with “irreversible lung damage” after contracting the disease, doctors warned.
Doctors claimed that the patients suffered from scarring on the lungs, as well as symptoms such as coughing and fatigue.
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So far in the UK, more than 42,000 people have died from Covid-19 and the health conditions left by the deadly virus could continue to put pressure on the NHS.
Covid-19 is known to attack the lungs and experts have claimed that some patients may be left with pulmonary fibrosis.
Patients who survived the virus can now be called back to hospitals to check whether or not they were left with permanent damage.
Talking to the BBC Dr. Sam Lièvre, a member of the executive committee of the British Society of Thoracic Imaging and advising the Royal College of Radiologists said “it’s a concern” that patients are left with irreversible damage .
After surviving the virus, patients are asked to return to the hospital to have their lungs tested.
“In the six-week analyzes that we see, so far, I would say between 20 and 30 percent of patients who have been hospitalized appear to show some signs of scarring of the lungs,” Dr. Hare said.
Severe cases of Covid-19 are thought to trigger exaggerated immune responses.
This causes mucus and other liquids to fill the air with bags, which makes it difficult to breathe without assistance and why so many Covid patients end up on a ventilator.
Patients with Covid-19 have received lung tests to determine the impact on their bodies.
Studies in China have already shown that Covid patients still have lung damage after their discharge from hospital.
Data from other viruses such as SARS and the Seas has shown that up to 60 percent of healthcare patients experienced conditions similar to pulmonary fibrosis after surviving Covid.
Dr. Hare said he is concerned due to the fact that many people in the UK have had Covid and said many doctors are concerned about the “amount of patients we need to treat”.
What is pulmonary fibrosis?
Many people experience shortness of breath and the mistake of being old or out of shape, but after a while even simple tasks can lead to shortness of breath.
Symptoms tend to get worse over time, and include:
- shortness of breath
- a persistent dry cough
- loss of appetite and weight loss
- round and swollen fingertips (deviated with fingertips)
One expert said that health care practitioners need to understand how big the problem is now in order to be able to intervene with treatments.
Prof Gisli Jenkins of the National Institute for Health Research said: “My problem is that never before in our lives have so many people suffered the same lung damage at the same time. ”
The NHS is set to open a number of Covid rehab centers.
These would be used specifically to help patients overcome the long-term effects caused by the virus.
A surviving Covid who had been in intensive care and on a ventilator in March, said he is still suffering from breathing difficulties.
Two months after overcoming Covid, 68-year-old Anthony McHugh is still having problems and says he has a hard time doing things like climbing stairs without being short of breath.
The former Hertfordshire taxi driver said when he was in hospital, x-ray scans showed a white haze.
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Six weeks later and subsequent analyzes showed white lines, indicating the first signs of scarring.
Mr. McHugh will have to return to the hospital for a 12-week period of testing which will determine whether or not his lungs have been left with permanent damage.
People who had the most severe cases of Covid – which resulted in them being placed on ventilation – are likely to suffer from other problems.
Although research into lung damage from the coronavirus is still in its early stages, she thought many people will be back in hospital with other health complications in the weeks and months to come.
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