A study has found patients who were hospitalised due to COVID-19 and recovered still suffered from lung damage, breathlessness and coughing weeks later.
Researchers in Austria revealed the results of a study on Sunday, after examining the recovery of patients who were hospitalised with COVID-19.
The study tracked 86 recovered patients six, 12 and 24 weeks after being discharged from hospital.
“During these visits, clinical examinations, laboratory tests, analysis of the amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide in arterial blood, lung function tests, CT scans and echocardiograms were carried out,” the report said.
After six weeks, CT scans showed lung damage in 88 percent of the patients. However, the symptoms had improved after 12 weeks and lung damage was reduced to 56 percent.
The results show 65 percent of patients still showed persistent symptoms after six-weeks. 47 percent still suffered from breathlessness and 15 percent suffered from coughing.
By the 12-week visit, breathlessness had improved and was present in 39 percent of patients. However, 15 percent were still coughing.
At this stage, it is too early to have results from the evaluations at 24 weeks.
“The bad news is that people show lung impairment from COVID-19 weeks after discharge,” said Dr Sabina Sahanic of the University Clinic in Innsbruck.
“The good news is that the impairment tends to ameliorate over time, which suggests the lungs have a mechanism for repairing themselves.”
The average age of the patients was 61. Nearly half of them were current or former smokers and 65 percent of hospitalised patients were overweight or obese. The average length of stay in hospital was 13 days. (Newshub.)