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HomeHealthPatients recovered from Covid could have side-effects like Sepsis survivors, say US...

Patients recovered from Covid could have side-effects like Sepsis survivors, say US researchers

Researchers say Covid patients who have recovered are likely to face similar challenges as sepsis survivors because the acute manifestations of severe Covid are similar to sepsis.

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New Delhi: The manifestations and outcomes of Covid-19 infection are similar to life-threatening conditions called Sepsis, stated an article published by a peer-reviewed journal of the American Medical Association, called JAMA. 

This apart, similar to the experiences of sepsis survivors, many of those who have recovered from Covid-19 are likely to experience long-lasting side-effects, said the article published Wednesday.

According to an American non-profit academic medical centre, Mayo Clinic, “Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection”.

“The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems.”

The article published in the online journal said: “While there has been substantial focus on the potentially unique manifestations of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), many of the acute manifestations and outcomes of severe Covid-19 are similar to those of sepsis caused by other pathogens.”

The article written by two authors — Hallie C. Prescott, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, and Timothy D. Girard, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine — also said that approximately 80 per cent patients hospitalised with Covid-19, and 60 per cent of those admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), survive.

“However, similar to the experiences of other sepsis survivors, many Covid-19 survivors are likely to experience long-lasting morbidity (the condition of being diseased),” they said.

Also read: 6 months on, this is what Indian doctors have learnt about Covid and its treatment

Long term side-effects caused by Sepsis

While the authors pointed that “little published data” is available on long-term outcomes and recovery after severe Covid-19, “yet studies in related patient populations, such as those affected with other coronaviruses, all-cause sepsis, or general critical illness, are helpful when considering the likely outcomes of Covid-19 survivors”.

“Studies in these populations document multifaceted problems stemming from sepsis and critical illness, which are collectively described as post-intensive care syndrome or post-sepsis syndrome,” the article said.

Quoting a study published in May, the authors said that a meta-analysis of 28 studies, which included 2,820 patients, examined long-term outcomes of severe diseases caused by other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS). 

This study reported “high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety at 6 months following illness, as well as pulmonary dysfunction, reduced exercise tolerance, and reduced health-related quality of life”.

According to the authors, “these long-term sequelae often profoundly alter patients’ lives”. 

Quoting another meta-analysis of 51 studies on 7,267 patients, who survived critical illnesses, the authors said: “Only 33 per cent, 55 per cent, and 56 per cent of previously employed patients returned to work by 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively, following critical illness.”

Covid survivors and sepsis survivors

It is unknown whether recovery from Covid-19 will be different from recovery after sepsis, the article said. 

“Given that the acute manifestations of severe Covid-19 are similar in many ways to those of sepsis in general, survivors of severe Covid-19 are anticipated to experience similar challenges as other sepsis survivors,” they said, adding that “Covid-19 may cause some specific sequelae that result from unique aspects of the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

“The prevalence and severity of post-intensive care syndrome among Covid-19 survivors may also be greater than in general sepsis cohorts because the pandemic has impeded normal care practices,” the authors added.

Also read: Why Delhi has dropped an entire category of high risk Covid patients from antigen testing


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