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Man gets clots in lungs' arteries post Covid

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Patient with doctors

 Rohit Shishodia


The patient had multiple co-morbidities including diabetes, asthma and hypertension. He went into ‘Cytokine Storm’ -- the most severe stage of Covid 19 -- and had been on oxygen support for more than 3 weeks in the ICU.

While he tested negative for Covid 19, the patient’s condition was constantly critical as he still required external oxygen support and suffered shortness of breath without respiratory support.

He would get breathless even while doing activities like eating without oxygen. The patient was brought to Apollo hospital in a state of breathlessness, severe chest infection and low oxygen level requiring constant oxygen and respiratory support.

After stabilizing him in the non- Covid ICU (as he had already tested negative for Covid 19) a CTPA scan (Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography) revealed that he had developed bilateral pulmonary embolism that had not only compromised his lung function but had also started affecting his heart.

Dr Viny Kantroo, Consultant, Respiratory, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said, “Over 30% severe COVID patients, requiring intensive care support, between the age of 45 and 75 years, tend to develop serious complications causing collateral damage to tissues and organs and can develop pulmonary embolism. This condition is life threatening, hence the patients need immediate treatment.”

The case of this patient was specially challenging because with falling oxygen levels and bacterial infections his condition was already fragile. The CTPA scan revealed that he had developed clots in the arteries of his lungs that were further impacting the heart. He had also developed cavities in the lungs signifying fungal pneumonia."

“We immediately put him on therapeutic doses of blood thinners in addition to anti-fungals. Once his oxygen saturation improved and he was able to maintain without respiratory support for some time, he was put on respiratory rehabilitation (regular chest, Limb physiotherapy, nutritional and psychological support). Soon, we were able to shift him out of ICU as his oxygen requirements came down drastically,” explained Dr Kantroo.

The patient was discharged on January 6 2021, after almost a month of treatment and rehabilitation.


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