Oxygen therapy in Covid-19 patients may save their life

Oxygen therapy in Covid-19 patients

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The year 2020 will go down in history as Covid-19 year, which brought the whole world to an abrupt halt. Across the globe, people were locked down in their homes to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Incidentally, Coronavirus has been around and it has been infecting us with the common cold. In most cases, it is not dangerous, except Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS and sudden acute respiratory syndrome SARS. 

 However, the virus in question, the novel Coronavirus has been a cause of grave concern. 

International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) names the viruses and they named the new strain of coronavirus SARS – CoV-2 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, in the month of February. 

The WHO renamed the disease as Covid-19, where Co stands for Corona, Vi for virus and D for the disease. 19 stands for 2019 because the first outbreak was reported in the Wuhan district of China in 2019.  

The novel Coronavirus spreads the same just the way other Coronaviruses do through person-to-person contact. 

True to its name SARS – CoV-2 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus affects the lower and upper respiratory tract. Fever is the most common symptom in a person infected with Covid-19. 

The other symptoms are 

  1. Trouble breathing
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Coughing
  4. Fatigue
  5. Chills, sometimes with shaking
  6. Body aches
  7. Headache
  8. Sore throat
  9. Loss of smell or taste
  10. Nausea
  11. And sometimes Diarrhoea

Oxygen deprivation in Covid-19 patients

Unlike other respiratory diseases, Covid-19 starves the patient of oxygen. The ongoing oxygen deprivation leads to extraordinarily low blood oxygen levels or hypoxia which is causing silent deaths in asymptomatic patients, strangely without comorbid conditions like diabetes and heart disease. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35 percent of all people with Covid-19 are asymptomatic, but they can still spread the disease. 

The situation becomes alarming when the patient does not register the symptom of oxygen deprivation. Hence, by the time they reach out for medical help, it gets late, and their condition has deteriorated already. 

Normally, people feel breathlessness when the oxygen content in their blood reduces to 90 per cent. However, some people notice it when it reaches 80. By that time the body’s oxygen content has depleted already. 

The silent depletion of oxygen levels in the body of asymptomatic patients may ultimately lead to cardiac arrest.

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it means low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream and you should seek medical help right away: 

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Ongoing chest pain or pressure
  • New confusion
  • Can’t wake up fully
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Bluish toes (Covid toes)

Doctors treating Covid-19 patients have observed that giving oxygen to patients of severe Covid-19 disease after making them lie flat on their stomach helps in improving the oxygen saturation in the blood and improves recovery without ventilation. 

However, getting supplemental oxygen on your own is not a wise step and the WHO refrains from doing this.