Even some patients initially considered candidates for lung transplants have been able to recover and return home without needing them, said Dr. Thiago Noguchi Machuca, a lung transplant surgeon at the University of Florida.
He has treated patients with ventilators and ECMO machines – devices that inject oxygen into the bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide – that have managed to free them from maintaining life and breathing on their own. His team keeps such patients on ECMO machines, but is trying to take them off the ventilators to restore their breathing, he said.
One patient would be home soon. “We brought him here, really thinking he would need a transplant,”
Doctors still don’t know how long it will take patients to regain strength and endurance before Covid. In the case of acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS, which is caused by other viruses and has similarities to Covid-19, full recovery may take more than a year, but there are no such statistics for Covid yet.
The earlier patients begin their rehabilitation, the faster they begin to bounce, which may be another reason for doctors to remove them earlier from ventilators, Ms. Al Chihani said. This may be possible, especially when scientists understand how to better manage the acute infection phase.
Doctors from Mount Sinai found that Covid did not break down the blood vessels in the lungs, but rather dilated them, making the blood flow too fast for oxygen to be absorbed, causing hypoxemia or low levels of oxygen in the blood. hypoxemia. Dr. Hooman Poor, pulmonologist and co-author of Mt. The Sinai report said more research was needed to identify effective ways to reduce Covid-induced hypoxemia in patients.
Some people who have spent a long time maintaining life can recover, although they will need a lot of help and perseverance. “Stay active, move and walk around the house, go up and down the stairs,” said Ms. Al Chihani.