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Lung Damage Found in COVID Survivors

Dr Rohit Bhaskar
Dr Rohit Bhaskar
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 A doctor with a graphic representation of the lungs

A new study says that 11% of patients who'd been hospitalized with COVID-19 develop interstitial lung disease.

About 11% of people who’ve been hospitalized for COVID-19 develop interstitial lung disease (ILD), according to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, which concludes that “health services should monitor at-risk individuals to elucidate long-term functional implications.”

The American Lung Association (ALA) described ILD as “an umbrella term used for a large group of diseases that cause scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. The scarring causes stiffness in the lungs which makes it difficult to breathe and get oxygen to the bloodstream. Lung damage from ILDs is often irreversible and gets worse over time.”

Researchers with the Imperial College of London collected the data through CT scans of 209 COVID-19 patients 240 days after discharge from the hospital. The patients were chosen because they exhibited symptoms of lung problems, and the findings about them were then applied to a cohort of nearly 3,500 individuals who didn’t have a CT scan to measure the risk of lung abnormalities.

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