Since the Coronavirus hit the world healthcare professionals have been explaining to people that how much the COVID-19 could affect our body. But after almost a year since the first case reported in Florida, the doctors are now noticing the real damage caused by the disease.
Last year, Dr. Gaetan Michaud was in New York City on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. She was working as the Chief of Interventional Pulmonary at NYU.
"We didn't know much at that time and we were seeing patients getting extremely sick. We didn't know how to manage that," said Dr. Michaud.
While the pandemic began to kill people in New York, Dr. Michaud went to Tampa and USF Health in Florida. She said the number of extremely sick patients in the city of Florida was lower than a lot of other areas of the country.
But the impact of COVID-19 on patients is now concerning her. When she analyzed the x-rays of the patients, the doctor noticed that what is left after the infection is pretty severe.
Concerning Lung Conditions
According to Dr. Michaud, "[COVID-19 patients] can develop scarring of the lungs. Most other diseases that either scar the lung or cause emphysema, that's over decades. That's not over like a couple of weeks or a couple of months. It's over many years. So, this is such a rapidly progressive scarring disease. It's not like anything we've seen before."
X-ray reports and CT scans have revealed the horrific truth about the Coronavirus-caused disease and how it can attack the lungs. It was found that while the lungs of a smoker with emphysema are black and enlarged with more blood vessels, a COVID-19 patient's lung is drastically different.
"It almost looks like you take a nice piece of lace, and you lay it down over the lung. You can see this nice lacy pattern. That's the scarring around the air sacs," explained Dr. Michaud.
She also said that the most shocking part of the whole identification is some who are asymptomatic can also develop the same damage.
The healthcare professional said that there were patients who have scarring of their lungs, even though they never developed any symptoms related to the lungs. "We are also seeing patients that had mild forms of COVID, but they just don't get better," she added.
Doctors have been trying to decrease potential scaring and to do that they have decided not to put patients under ventilators immediately after their admission.
"The ventilator as the lung opens and closes can cause increased damage to the lungs," said Dr. Michaud. But she advised that the only way to fully prevent such damage to the lungs is not to contract the deadly virus, which has killed over 490,000 Americans and infected over 28 million people in the US.