Health Tips, Health Care India
Complete health guide which includes fitness, beauty, diet, yoga, weight training, sexual health, pregnancy, parenting, diseases & home remedies. Get weight loss tips, food & healthy recipes. Also watch health related videos at thehealthsite.com
COVID-19 patients with chronic kidney disease are at highest risk of death - TheHealthSite
A large international study of COVID-19 patients found that certain pre-existing health conditions affected survival rates more than others.
Nobody is safe from the COVID-19 virus, but some groups may suffer more. Available data suggest that people with pre-existing health conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, stroke, and cancer are more prone to become severely ill once they get infected with the virus. People with these chronic conditions are also at higher risk of death from the COVID-19. Also Read - Coronavirus can survive on banknotes, phone screens for 28 days A large, international study of COVID-19 patients has also confirmed that these pre-existing conditions may increase a patients risk of death by one-and-a-half to three times. Conducted by Penn State College of Medicine researcher, the study results were recently published in PLOS ONE. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 71,20,538 while death toll reaches 1,09,150 The researchers found that cardiovascular disease may double a patients risk of dying from COVID-19. The results were recently published in PLOS ONE. Also Read - Are diabetic patients more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection? Chronic kidney disease and COVID-19 complications Based on their findings, the authors of the study suggested that the presence of these chronic health conditions in patients with COVID-19 is a warning sign of a higher risk of death. The research team came to the conclusion after conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published from December 2019 through early July 2020. They explored 11 co-existing conditions that pose a risk of severe disease and death among COVID-19 patients. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic liver disease, and HIV/AIDS. After analyzing data from over 65,000 patients from 25 studies worldwide, the researchers found that certain pre-existing health conditions affected survival rates more than others. It was found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with diabetes and cancer were 1.5 times more likely to die as compared to those patients without pre-existing conditions. While patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure were twice as likely to die, the death risk was three times higher in patients with chronic kidney disease. Why kidney patients face severe COVID-19 outcomes? The main function of the kidneys is to filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in the urine. When this function is impaired, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes can build up in your body. This can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal. Kidney disease does not put patients at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. But they are at risk for more severe outcomes during infection. While it is not clear why patients with kidney disease are more at risk for severe COVID-19, some experts suggest it may be because these patients are typically older and have other chronic illnesses such as diabetes that are risk factors for severe COVID-19. Additionally, patients with kidney disease may also have a weakened immune system. Some hospitalized COVID-19 patients develop acute kidney injury (AKI)a sudden decline in kidney functioneven if they have never had kidney disease before. This condition is more common in patients who become critically ill and need intensive care. In most cases, acute kidney injury may require emergency dialysis. How COVID-19 affects the kidneys? One possible reason is that the ACE2 receptor that binds with the SAR-CoV2 viral spike is abundant throughout the human body, including the kidneys. Kidney biopsies have shown the presence of tiny blood clots in COVID-19 patients. These blood clots can affect the proper functioning of the kidneys.
Asian patients at higher risk of death from Covid-19: Here's why - TheHealthSite
According to a new study minority ethnic patients bear a higher burden of the disease than White patients. l TheHealthSite.com
The novel coronavirus, which is responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, affects different people differently. According to a new study, minority ethnic patients bear a higher burden of the disease than white patients. It said that while those of Black ethnicity are more likely to require hospital admission for the disease, Asian patients have an increased risk of dying in hospital from Covid-19. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 70,53,806 while death toll reaches 1,08,334 This suggests that different treatment strategies may be required for different ethnic groups. Also Read - COVID-19 virus can linger on human skin much longer than flu viruses “For Black patients, the issue may be how to prevent mild infection progressing to severe whereas for Asian patients it may be how to treat life-threatening complications,” IANS quoted Ajay Shah, one of the study authors, as saying. Shah is the Professor of Cardiology at King’s College London and Consultant Cardiologist at King’s College Hospital. Also Read - Poor, unmarried men are more likely to die from COVID-19 The study was published in the journal EclinicalMedicine. Relationship between ethnic background and SARS-CoV-2 For the study, the researchers analysed data from 1,827 adult patients admitted to King’s College Hospital, south-east London, with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19 between March 1 and June 2, 2020. Out of the 872 admitted patients from inner south-east London, 48.1 per cent were found to be of Black ethnicity, 33.7 per cent White, 12.6 per cent Mixed and 5.6 per cent Asian ethnicity. The analysis showed that Black and Mixed ethnicity patients have a three-fold higher risk of hospital admission due to Covid-19 compared to White inner-city residents of the same region. However, when it comes to in-hospital survival, there was no significant difference between Black patients and white patients. According to the analysis, Asian patients lave a lower risk of requiring hospital admission with Covid-19 than the other groups. But Asian patients were most likely to die in the hospital from Covid-19 and require intensive care unit admission as compared to the other groups. Why minority ethnic patients are more severely affected by Covid-19? Based on the analysis of the data of Covid-19 patients, the researchers said that there is a higher prevalence of comorbidities, especially diabetes, among the minority ethnic patients. Apart from comorbidities and socioeconomic factors, biological factors may also contribute to the impact of Covid-19 on minority communities, the study suggested. The researchers, however, called for more research to prove this finding on multi-ethnic populations in other countries. In August, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that said most of the people hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were black. The coronavirus also killed more black people across the U.S. than White people, it stated. One possible reason for this difference is that many people of color work in essential industries such as nursing or home health care, grocery stores and mass transit. This increases their risk of exposure to people who are sick. As these jobs are often poorly paid, they also lack health or life insurance. In addition, many black, Latinx and indigenous communities have high rates of underlying health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. These health conditions are known risk factors for severe illness and death from COVID-19. With inputs from agencies
COVID-19 virus can linger on human skin much longer than flu viruses - TheHealthSite
A new study has revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 may linger on human skin for as as long as nine hours.
The novel coronavirus has claimed over one million lives since the disease outbreak began in Chinas Wuhan city in December 2019. But still, no one can say when the pandemic will end. Around 200 vaccine candidates are under development around the world but experts are not sure if a vaccine can stop the pandemic. In the absence of a drug or vaccine, frequent handwashing, wearing face masks and social distancing are considered the best ways to stay safe from the deadly virus. A new study has revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, may linger on human skin for nine hours, underscoring the importance of handwashing or using a sanitiser. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 70,53,806 while death toll reaches 1,08,334 The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Covid-19 can remain viable on human skin much longer than the flu viruses can. The researchers including those from Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan noted that the influenza A virus (IAV) can remain active on human skin for nearly two hours. Also Read - Poor, unmarried men are more likely to die from COVID-19 A hand sanitizer can inactivate both Covid-19 and flu viruses However, they found that both SARS-CoV-2 virus and IAV were rapidly inactivated on the skin with a hand sanitizer. The viruses were inactivated more rapidly on skin surfaces than on other surfaces such as stainless steel, glass, and plastic. Also Read - These health conditions increase your risk of dying from COVID-19 In March, a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that the Covid-19 virus can last for about three hours in the air, up to four hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard, and 72 hours on stainless steel. According to the new study, the SARS-CoV-2 could survive significantly longer (9 hours) than IAV (1.82 hours). Therefore, proper hand hygiene is important to reduce the risk of contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the researchers said. Hand sanitizer vs. soap and water You may find using a hand sanitizer more convenient and easier than washing hands frequently with soap and water. But a sanitizer should not be a replacement for washing hands with soap and water. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol, only when soap and water arent available. According to health experts, soap and water can kill the Covid-19 virus more effectively than a hand sanitizer. In addition, washing can also remove any grease or dirt on your hands. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can destroy viruses too, but it may not work in certain situations. For instance, when you use the sanitizer on wet or sweaty hands, the alcohol in it may get diluted with water or sweat. This may diminish its effectiveness. Moreover, a sanitizer cant remove sticky grease on your hands to which viruses can cling to. There are also many side effects of using hand sanitizers. Health experts of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have warned that the widespread use of hand-sanitizers, antimicrobial soaps, and antibiotics during Covid-19 can lead to more antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a pathogenic microbe to develop a resistance to the effects of an antimicrobial medication. It is estimated that by 2050, about 10 million people could be at risk every year if drug resistance is not managed.
These health conditions increase your risk of dying from COVID-19 - TheHealthSite
A major study has confirmed that cardiovascular disease congestive heart failure stroke and more can increase a patient's risk of dying from COVID-19.
More than 95 per cent deaths of COVID-19 positive patients have occurred on account of comorbid conditions, while five per cent patients have died due to delay on their part in seeking treatment, say experts. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this disease has taken a huge toll in terms of human lives. The diseases, which has infected more than 36,361,054 people globally has also killed more than 1,056,186 people around the world. In India, the situation is no better with almost 70 lakh infected people and 1,07,416 deaths. Scientists had said since the beginning that this viral infection affects the elderly and people with underlying health condition more severely than others. This groups of people are also more like to suffer from fatal complications of the disease. If we go by statistics, there are more people with underlying health conditions who have died from this disease. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 69,79,423 while death toll reaches 1,07,416 Now in a major study on COVID-19 patients, researchers from the Penn State University in the US have confirmed that cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, stroke and cancer can increase a patient’s risk of dying from the virus. The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, may help public health officials improve patient care and develop interventions that can target these high-risk populations. The researchers found that cardiovascular disease may double a patient’s risk of dying from COVID-19. They also discovered that other pre-existing conditions may increase a COVID-19 patient’s risk of death by one-and-a-half to three times. Also Read - A new danger for COVID-19 patients: Urban air pollution may make the disease more deadly 11 underlying diseases identified as major risk factors According to researchers, this study suggests that these chronic conditions are not just common in patients with COVID-19, but their presence is a warning sign to a higher risk of death. The research team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies to determine which chronic conditions put hospitalized patients at risk of dying from Covid-19. They explored 11 co-existing conditions that pose a risk of severe disease and death among Covid-19 patients, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic liver disease and HIV/AIDS. Also Read - COVID-19 has prolonged effect on many during pregnancy Diabetes, high BP, kidney disease leads the list Researchers analysed data from more than 65,000 patients from 25 studies worldwide. Patients in the selected studies had an average age of 61 years. They found that certain pre-existing health conditions affected survival rates more than others. They determined that patients with diabetes and cancer are 1.5 times more likely to die, patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure are twice as likely to die, and patients with chronic kidney disease are three times more likely to die. The researchers said that prior studies exploring the association of pre-existing chronic conditions and COVID-19 mortality had limitations in the number of countries included. Even though additional research is needed to fully understand health risks and implications, the authors said that these findings can help inform global prevention and treatment strategies. (With inputs from IANS)
Get some sunshine and eat vitamin D-rich foods to reduce risk of COVID-19 death - TheHealthSite
A new study has added to the growing body of evidence that being Vitamin D sufficient may reduce your risk of complications and death from Covid-19.
Vitamin D is not only essential for maintaining healthy bones but also plays a pivotal role in the function of your immune system. Various studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to increased risk of respiratory infections, including the deadly COVID-19. Low vitamin D levels were found in many severe COVID-19 patients, suggesting that lack of the sunshine vitamin may increase your risk of complications from the disease. Also Read - World Heart Day 2020: Why taking care of your heart is more important than ever during COVID-19? A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE has added to the growing body of evidence that being Vitamin D sufficient may reduce your risk of complications and death from Covid-19. The authors from the Boston University in the US found that hospitalised Covid-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL, were 51.5 per cent less likely to die from the infection compared to patients who were vitamin D deficient. Also Read - Autoantibodies, genetic mutation behind severe COVID-19 complications In addition, Covid-19 patients who had sufficient vitamin D levels had lower blood levels of an inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein) and higher blood levels of lymphocytes (a type of immune cell to help fight infection). Also Read - Men have a 62 per cent increased risk of COVID-19 associated deaths This study also provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can prevent cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from Covid-19, the authors noted. Studies linking vitamin D deficiency to COVID-19 death Earlier this month, a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open had suggested that vitamin D deficiency may raise the risk of getting novel coronavirus. In May, a study published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research had linked low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries. The researchers explained that as older adults are usually deficient in vitamin D, they are most seriously affected by COVID-19. According to them, vitamin D can prevent white blood cells from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines, which is associated with COVID-19. Another study by researchers at UChicago Medicine looked at COVID-19 patients whose vitamin D levels were measured within a year before being tested positive for the viral disease. Surprisingly, patients who had vitamin D deficiency were almost twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 when compared to those who had the necessary levels of the vitamin in their bodies. How you can increase vitamin D intake during the pandemic Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. So, it is important to get some sunlight every day. If youre not getting enough sunlight, make sure you eat more foods rich in vitamin D or take supplements. Here are some foods that contain vitamin D. Mushrooms Mushrooms are the best plant source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms also synthesize vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, wild mushrooms contain more vitamin D than commercially grown mushrooms, which are often grown in the dark. Salmon Wild salmon is better than farmed ones when it comes to vitamin D content. While wild salmon contains about 988 IU of vitamin D per serving, farmed salmon contains 250 IU, on average. Sardines This small fish that is available as raw, canned, smoked, or pickled is one of the best sources of vitamin D. Eat more sardines during the pandemic to raise your vitamin D levels and prevent respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Egg Yolks Some people cant bear the smell of fish. If youre one of them, eat eggs instead. While the white portion contains mostly protein, the yellow yolk contains most of the fat, vitamins, and minerals. One typical egg yolk can provide 37 IU of vitamin D.
COVID-19 risk: Places of worship may be more unsafe than public transports - TheHealthSite
When you’re in a crowded place like religious places or public transports you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19.
It is advisable to avoid going to the temple, church or any place of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the novel coronavirus is highly contagious (meaning it spreads easily from person to person), health authorities have been advising people to limit social gatherings and time spent in crowded places. With the government relaxing the lockdown and allowing markets, schools and offices to reopen, there is a possibility of further rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. So, unless it is essential, people should continue to avoid going out, engaging in public activities, and attending religious places and places of worship. Also Read - Can iodine solution really help prevent spread of COVID-19? A recent study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases suggested that attending a place of worship may be more dangerous than commuting in public transports. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 54,87,580 while death toll reaches 87,882 Always practice social distancing when you go out The study supported the idea that social distancing is strongly associated with a lower chance of getting infected with COVID-19. So, if youre going out, you should practice social distancing to the extent possible, the researchers said. Also Read - Coronavirus can spread on airplanes; antiseptic nasal spray may help curb transmission For the study, the researcher asked more than 1,000 Maryland residents about their social distancing practices in late June. They found that people who frequently attended church were at greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than those who used public transportation. More precisely, the study found that people who frequently visited church were 16 times more likely to report that they had tested positive. On the other hand, people who commuted in public transports were 4 times more likely to report they tested positive. Overall, spending more time in public was most strongly associated with COVID-19 infection. The research team also found that older people, who face higher risks for serious COVID-19 consequences, were more likely to practice social distancing than younger people. According to the study, about 81% of people over 65 said they always followed social distancing guidelines during outdoor activities, as compared with 58% of people in the 18-24 age group. What is the safe distance to protect against the coronavirus disease? The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends maintaining at least 1 metre distance from others to reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19. This because small liquid droplets are released from the nose or mouth when someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets may contain the COVID-19 virus, if the person has the disease. If you are too close, you can breathe in these contaminated droplets. When youre in a crowded place, like religious places or public transports, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19. In such places, it would more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid crowded places to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus. The WHO also encourages people to wear a fabric mask in public places, especially where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. Hands can pick up the virus after touching contaminated surfaces and transfer it to the eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you. Regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water may kill the virus that may be on your hands.
Can iodine solution really help prevent spread of COVID-19? - TheHealthSite
Researchers suggest povidone-iodine nasal irrigation along with mask usage may help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Researchers and doctors around the world are leaving no stone unturned to find ways to stop the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Marking a breakthrough in the search for a cure for the deadly disease, a team of researchers has found that iodine solution can completely inactivate the novel coronavirus that is responsible for the pandemic. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 54,00,619 while death toll reaches 86752 In one study, researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine observed the reaction of the novel coronavirus in three different iodine concentrations — 0.5 per cent, 1.25 per cent, and 2.5 per cent. They found that all three concentrations, including the weakest one, can completely inactivate the virus within 15 seconds. When they conducted the same test with ethanol alcohol, they did not see any promising results. Also Read - Coronavirus can spread on airplanes; antiseptic nasal spray may help curb transmission The findings suggest that iodine solution may help in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus, said the researchers in a paper published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Also Read - Face masks made from used T-shirts, bedsheets can prevent COVID-19 spread even if you sneeze Nasal decontamination may reduceviral load in COVID-19 patients According to the researchers, the iodine solution can be used in the form of nasal disinfectants to reduce the risk of viral spread through droplets and aerosols. For example, medical professionals can instruct their patients to perform nasal decontamination using a nasal spray containing povidone-iodine before their appointments. The researchers believe that this will help prevent the spread of the virus in waiting rooms and common areas of the hospitals/clinics. In addition, it could help reduce the risk of COVID-19 patients developing critical symptoms by decreasing the viral load that travels to the lungs, they said. While the researchers propose povidone-iodine nasal irrigation along with mask usage to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection, they also cautioned that the nasal wash should be done under the supervision of a clinician only. Further, they warned that routine use of povidone-iodine would not be safe for pregnant women and patients with thyroid conditions. Larger clinical trials are underway to study the effectiveness of intranasal povidone-iodine solutions in curbing viral transmission, the researchers said. Earlier studies have revealed the virucidal activity of povidone-iodine products against other similar infections, including Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Can salt water solution be used to treat COVID-19 symptoms? Rinsing the nostrils and gargling with salt water has been used as a popular remedy for cold symptoms for many years. Some researchers say this ancient home remedy might also help with early symptoms of COVID-19. However, there is no evidence to suggest that gargling with saline water can prevent the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The World Health organization (WHO) has also debunked that gargling with salt water isnt a foolproof technique of COVID-19 prevention. But it hasnt denied the fact that salt water gargles can help soothe a sore throat. Researchers at Harvard have also dismissed saline water gargles as a measure to prevent COVID-19 or stop the COVID-19 virus from reaching your lungs. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also in agreement with the WHO and Harvard. But all the three renowned health bodies agreed that washing your hands regularly, wearing a mask in public places, and maintaining social distancing is the best way to stay safe from the novel coronavirus until there is a potential vaccine.
Why you shouldn’t sing loudly during the COVID-19 pandemic? - TheHealthSite
Singing improves mood and reduces stress but don't think of jamming with friends now. Loud singing can increase the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Singing makes you feel good, right? Considered to be a natural anti-depressant, singing helps improve mood and reduce stress. Research has shown that singing triggers the release of endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy. But it is not a good idea to sing a song loudly during the COVID-19 pandemic or jam up with friends at this time. Also Read - COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 47,54,356 while death toll reaches 78,586 A study recently published in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology warned that singing — particularly loud and consonant-rich singing — can increase the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Also Read - Amit Shah re-admitted to AIIMS: Most common after-effects of COVID-19 to watch out for This is because when we sing, we emit a lot of aerosol particles and droplets into the surrounding air. If the singer is someone who is infected with the novel coronavirus, these aerosol particles can contribute to the increased spread of the disease. Also Read - Dining out during COVID-19 pandemic is more risky than shopping or visiting someones house Following reports of COVID-19 transmission in connection with choirs singing, different restrictions have been imposed all over the world to make singing safer. In the new study, researchers from Lund University (LU) in Sweden attempted to find out as to how much aerosol particles and larger droplets we actually exhale when we sing. Letters B and P are the biggest aerosol spreaders For the study, they recruited 12 healthy singers and two people with confirmed COVID-19. Seven of the participants were professional opera singers. During the song tests, it was found that while some droplets are so large that they only move a few decimetres from the mouth before they fall, the smaller ones continue to hover for minutes. In particular, the enunciation of consonants releases very large droplets, with the letters B and P standing out as the biggest aerosol spreaders, the authors said. The louder and more powerful the song was, the greater the concentration of aerosols and droplets. COVID-19 patients may spread infection when singing The team also carried out measurements of the virus in the air when the two persons with COVID-19 sang. Though their air samples contained no detectable amount of virus, aerosols from Covid-19 patients may still entail a risk of infection when singing, the researchers noted. They said so because the viral load can vary in different parts of the airways and between different people. If you still want to organize/ participate in a group song, you can do so in a safer way. You should ensure that the singers maintain social distancing, practice good hygiene, and there is good ventilation, which will help reduce the concentration of aerosol particles in the air. If possible, wearing face masks can also make a big difference. In this study, even a simple face mask helped block most of the aerosols and droplets emitted by the singers. When the singers were wearing a simple face mask, the levels of aerosols and droplets were reduced to an extent that is comparable with ordinary speech. This doesnt mean that one should give up singing during the pandemic, but it should be done with appropriate measures to reduce the risk of spreading infection, the Lund University researchers noted.
Peripheral nerve damage is a real danger of ‘proning’ in COVID-19 patients - TheHealthSite
According to this study the practice of proning COVID-19 patients who are on ventilator support may lead to permanent nerve damage.
Proning is the technique of placing a patient in a face down position to ease breathing. This method is widely used by doctors dealing with COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory distress. But a new study says that it may do more harm than good. Apparently, according to this study at the Regenerative Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago, it may lead to permanent nerve damage. Also Read - Vaccines cannot be developed in a hurry: Any haste may only lead to more suffering Researchers came to this conclusion after studying 83 COVID-19 patients who were placed face down while attached to a ventilator. On recovery, all patients were sent to a post-COVID-19 rehabilitation centre at a single health care facility. It was seen that around 14 per cent of them developed a “peripheral nerve injury” in one or more major joints. Most of the injuries were seen in the wrist, hand, foot or shoulder. But researchers say that despite this damage, proning is a potentially lifesaving intervention, which has saved a lot of lives during the pandemic. Also Read - Nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine vs injection: Which one should you opt for? Proning may cause permanent nerve damage According to researchers this method can sometimes irreversible nerve damage. A patient may experience loss of hand function, frozen shoulder and foot dragging. It can lead to the need for support in the form of a brace, cane or wheelchair. Researchers say that full recovery for nerve damage may occur in only about 10 per cent of patients and the recovery, if at all it takes place, will take anywhere between 12 to 24 months. This may be the longest-lasting effect of COVID-19 for patients. Also Read - ICMR says plasma therapy not beneficial, may not reduce mortality rates Pre-existing conditions up the risk Most of the patients who suffered from nerve damage as a result of proning were already suffering from some pre-existing conditions like diabetes, which also increases the risk of nerve injuries. Many of these patients were also either old or obese. Inflammation may make nerves vulnerable Experts suspect that the COVID-19 virus may make nerves more vulnerable to damage. This may be due to the increased inflammation, poor blood circulation and blood clotting. Positioning of a patient while proning and the weight it may put on certain nerves for long periods of time are also causes of this damage. But researchers say that this study was conducted only on patients on ventilators. Otherwise, it showed positive results in patients who were not on ventilator support. Benefits of prone positioning Although placing patients face down can cause skin pressure injuries in non-COVID-19 patients, nerve compression injuries are rare if there is regular repositioning and careful padding. It increases end-expiratory lung volume, alveolar recruitment, and oxygenation in patients with severe hypoxemic and acute respiratory failure. This is also an inexpensive therapy for the treatment of severe respiratory distress. It improves systemic oxygenation in 70 per cent to 80 per cent of patients with acute respiratory distress. (With inputs from Agencies)
Link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 gets stronger - TheHealthSite
Another research has found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is vital for maintaining healthy bones. But this fat-soluble vitamin also plays a pivotal role in boosting the function of your immune system. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency may weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to infections, including the deadly COVID-19. There is emerging evidence to support the link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 infection. A low vitamin D level has been found in many COVID-19 patients. Another research has found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus. Also Read - 5 immunity-boosting plants that you can grow during COVID-19 pandemic For the new study, researchers at UChicago Medicine looked at 483 patients whose vitamin D levels were measured within a year before being tested for COVID-19. They found that patients who had vitamin D deficiency were almost twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 when compared to patients who had necessary levels of the vitamin in their body. Also Read - Post-COVID syndrome: A new childhood disease that severely damages children's heart Vitamin D supplements have previously been linked to a lower risk of viral respiratory tract infections. The new study suggests this may be true for the COVID-19 infection as well, noted David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Chief of Hospital Medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study. Also Read - National Nutrition Week 2020: 5 ways to ensure that youre getting adequate sunshine vitamin Meltzer and his team stressed the need for more studies to determine whether Vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 cases and what dosage would be most effective. Vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 mortality A study, which was published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research in May this year, had linked low levels of vitamin D with a higher mortality rate among COVID-19 patients. The researchers then noted that older adults are mostly deficient in vitamin D, and that makes them more vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection. According to them, low average vitamin D levels among the population in northern European countries like Spain and Italy may be a reason why they are facing high COVID-19 mortality rates. Vitamin D prevents white blood cells from producing too many cytokines, proteins that activate our immune cells. Excess of these proteins leads to inflammation, which worsens the COVID-19 infection. So, it is important to ensure that your bodys vitamin D reserve is sufficient to prevent COVID-19 infection and complications. How Much Vitamin D Should You Take? Vitamin D is easily synthesized by our body when the skin gets exposed to sunlight. But as most people are spending maximum time indoors, vitamin D deficiency is becoming very common today. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to monitor vitamin D levels in your body. Based on the amount of 25(OH)D in your blood, it is considered:
- Sufficient: 25(OH)D greater than 20 ng/ml
- Insufficient: 25(OH)D less than 20 ng/ml
- Deficient: 25(OH)D less than 12 ng/ml