COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the world as it continues to spread at an alarming rate. Millions of people have already succumbed to the nasty illness. There are many others who have survived the virus and many others who never knew if they ever caught it as they may have remained asymptomatic. However, observations made by a trauma surgeon based in Texas, United States, which she recently posted on social media are quite worrying.
Dr Brittany Bankhead-Kendall of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has found that the lungs of recovered COVID-19 patients appear to be in a far worse condition than that of smokers. The doctor has been treating patients since the onset of the pandemic and has observed countless X-rays of COVID-19 infected patients. She said that the lungs of the affected patients show intense scarring.
She recently took to Twitter to say that “post-Covid lungs look worse than any type of terrible smoker's lungs we have ever seen.” She said that those lungs collapse and clot as the shortness of breath lingers on.
Check out her post on Twitter:
Bankhead-Kendall said that X-rays of smokers' lungs appear a bit hazy, but that of the COVID-19 patients are almost completely white, which indicates intense scarring and lack of air entering the organ.
The doctor said that everyone is worried about the mortality rates which is surely a cause for concern, but the long-term effects of the virus on the survivors are also a big threat.
“All the survivors who have tested positive, (for them) it's going to be a problem,” Bankhead-Kendall was quoted as saying by the DailyMail.
She said every COVID-19 patient she has treated has had a severe X-ray. Even among the asymptomatic patients, 70 to 80 per cent of them had severe X-ray results. She said there are people who say they are fine but when their X-ray is checked, “they absolutely have a bad chest X-ray.”
Bankhead-Kendall compared three X-rays, one of a healthy person, one of a smoker and one of a COVID-19 patient.
The X-ray of the healthy person showed a lot of black space, which indicated they are able to inhale a good amount of air. The smoker’s X-ray showed white lines and haziness which represented inflammation and damage in the walls of the lungs. The worst results were that of the COVID-19 patient, which showed the lungs almost completely white, indicating lung opacity, which means that the patient is unable to intake sufficient oxygen in the lungs.
Bankhead-Kendall warned that even those who are not experiencing any difficulties at present, may have problems later on.