By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a synthesis of some of the latest scientific studies on the new coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, a viral disease.
Viral load predicts the need for mechanical ventilation, risk of death
When COVID-19 patients are hospitalized for pneumonia, physicians can estimate the risk they require mechanical breathing assistance or die based on “viral load” – the amount of viral genetic material obtained by how to pick up the nose and throat. , a new study found. “This risk can be predicted regardless of how sick they are on admission, what other comorbidities they may have, their age or the number of days they have symptoms,”; co-authors, NYU Medical School Dr. Ioannis Zacharioudakis told Reuters. His team studied 314 patients, dividing them into three groups according to viral load on admission. The group with the highest virus concentration had 59% higher morbidity or mortality than the group with the lowest viral load. The data, released Friday in the American Chest Association Chronicles, “will have practical implications in the ability to gauge which patients will benefit most from the early upgrade. care, antiviral treatment and / or testing of new therapies, “said Zacharioudakis. (https://bit.ly/3oJijtQ)
Coronavirus damages the membranes of red blood cells
Researchers have found that the new coronavirus damages the membranes of red blood cells that carry oxygen, contributing to hypoxia, or low blood oxygen levels, which are common in COVID-19. Signs of hypoxemia can range from shortness of breath to damage to organs and tissues. Studying blood samples from COVID-19 patients and healthy people, the researchers found that the virus did not seem to affect red blood cells’ ability to receive oxygen and distribute oxygen. But the patient has “obvious damage” to the red blood cell membrane, especially against a membrane protein responsible for helping the cell survive injury. As a result, the patient’s red blood cells may be more vulnerable to so-called oxidative stress and other damage, co-author Angelo D’Alessandro of the University of Colorado Denver said in an email. Red blood cells circulate for 120 days before the body replaces them with new ones, and they cannot synthesize new components to replace damaged ones. This may help explain why some COVID-19 symptoms can last for months, D’Alessandro said. (https://bit.ly/3mMBq4A)
Pandemic accurate assessment of the mental health of ER doctors
COVID-19 is affecting the mental health of emergency physicians and many are reluctant to seek help, according to the survey results reported at the annual meeting of the College of Emergency Physicians. United States (ACEP). In a national representative group of 862 US emergency doctors, 87% reported feeling more stressful since the pandemic started and 72% reported more exhaustion. More than 80% are concerned with their own health and safety as well as the safety of their family and friends, around signing a contract with COVID-19. Nearly half said they are uncomfortable looking for mental health services, 73% say there is at least some stigma in their workplace search and 57% say they will worry about their job if they seek mental health treatment. In April, New York City emergency doctor, Dr. Lorna Breen, died from suicide while recovering from COVID-19. Jennifer Breen Feist said: “With the patient spilling into the hallway, not enough personal protective equipment … and the minimum items, my sister tried to meet the challenges of COVID-19. , ”Jennifer Breen Feist said at an ACEP press conference. Finally, as Breen seeks mental health treatment, her main concern is how she will be seen at work, her sister added. (https://bit.ly/3e9rFdJ)
History of heart failure increases the risk for patients with COVID-19
A new study helps identify the side risks that people with heart failure and coronavirus infection face are serious enough to require hospitalization. Doctors at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City studied 6,439 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital, including 422 with a history of at least one heart failure episode. Compared to other patients, those with a history of heart failure had a longer average hospital stay (8 days vs. 6 days), doctors reported Wednesday in the Journal of the College of Cardiology. USA. After taking other risk factors into account, patients with heart failure were three times more likely to require mechanical ventilation and almost double the likelihood of dying. If future studies show similar patterns, the researchers conclude, physicians may need to consider using more aggressive therapies in patients with COVID-19 and have history of heart failure. (https://bit.ly/2TG2d5U)
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(Reported by Nancy Lapid and Megan Brooks; Edited by Bill Berkrot)