BHOPAL: Forty-seven year old Dr Varsha Shrivastava, a medical practitioner in Gwalior, lost her battle of life after more than three months of treatment for Covid-19 and post-Covid complications a few days ago. The doctors had advised her lung transplant as she had developed a severe level of fibrosis in her lungs.
She happened to be just one of the cases of severe pulmonary fibrosis in the state as the patients are battling for their lives. The most common lung problem faced by a post-Covid patient is lung fibrosis. Though the cases of pulmonary fibrosis among Covid patients are very low as reported by hospitals, severe cases continue to pose a major challenge for the health experts. Out of nearly 7,500 Covid patients recovered in state referral Hamidia Hospital, 50 have been detected with lung fibrosis. Clinical recovery is generally complete in mild-to-moderately severe Covid-19 cases but a small proportion of patients with severe disease may go on to develop lung fibrosis.
Potentially life-threatening condition: Pulmonary fibrosis is one of the most worrying post-Covid-19 complications as it causes permanent lung damage, making it harder to breathe, according to health care professionals. Though cases of pulmonary fibrosis in Covid-19 survivors are reported to be low, it is a potentially life-threatening condition. There is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis, they added. The doctors, however, assured that a prompt diagnosis, medications and therapies can help manage and improve the patient's quality of life even in case of lung fibrosis.
‘No cure, early diagnosis, medication only lifesaver’ “There is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis. But a prompt diagnosis, medications and therapies can help manage this condition and improve the patient's quality of life. We have observed a few cases of lifelong fibrosis during diagnosis of Covid patients. Around 85 per cent Covid patients are normal with nominal virus infection. Around 10-13 % patients have been detected with moderate infection. So far we come across nearly 50 patients who have developed lifelong fibrosis. But it does not mean that they are dependent on oxygen support. Oxygen requirement depends on the severity. The patient needs to always remain in touch with their doctors.”Dr Lokendra Dave, Medical Superintendent of Hamidia Hospital
‘Oxygen support only in critical cases’: “Lung fibrosis cases are being reported post Covid treatment. The patient's condition depends on the percentage of fibrosis in the lungs. In most critical conditions, this lung fibrosis happens to be lifelong. Dependence on oxygen cylinders depends on the patient's condition and it is advised only in case of acute condition.”-Dr Subodh Varsheny, Siddhanta Hospital
SC for ensuring ECMO in every district: Supreme Court, last week, has instructed asked the Centre to consider the possibility of arranging a lung support machine called ECMO(extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) in every district as it came across a petition filed by a woman seeking financial assistance for her husband whose lungs were completely damaged due to Covid-19 in May.
Petition in apex court: Sheela Mehra (31), Bhopal, approached the Supreme Court in July with the request for Rs 1 crore assistance from the PM Cares Fund, PM Relief Fund or Chief Minister Relief Fund to save her ailing husband, Manish Kumar Gohiya. Since July 7, the patient has been on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) support at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Secunderabad, which requires a daily expense of close to Rs 1.5 lakh. Manish was earlier admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, on May 14. From there, he was flown to Telangana in an air ambulance on June 2 and admitted to Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad before being shifted to KIMS hospital that had the ECMO facility.
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