LivingThis is what coronavirus infection looks like in 3D

This is what coronavirus infection looks like in 3D


Medical professionals around the world face a daily battle against COVID-19 , working rapidly to push for new tests, vaccines and treatment options. In an attempt to understand this “invisible enemy” , a doctor in Washington DC has published a video – from digital CT scans – in 3D of the damage that the coronavirus can cause in the lungs of a patient, a 59-year-old man with hypertension that was not considered to have a poor immune system. Damage caused by the coronavirus appears in yellow.

As we can see in the images, the damage to the lung is bilateral, that is, it affects both lungs, which shows the speed and aggressiveness of the infection, even in younger patients.

When the patient was admitted to the hospital, his shortness of breath grew rapidly and he soon required intubation and mechanical ventilation. Shortly after, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation began, a treatment that uses a pump to circulate blood through the artificial lungs and back into the patient’s bloodstream.

The patient remains in critical condition in the ICU.

Yellow color marks both infection and inflammation. This process is the body’s attempt to control the infection. The inflammation prevents the lungs from being able to oxygenate the blood and remove carbon dioxide. That would cause a patient to gasp or inhale a lot of air to balance oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

The images suggest that the words to describe common symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) are not able to truly capture the impact of the new coronavirus on the body.

Some scientists suspect that for those patients with more severe symptoms, there is a chance that, if they survive, they could end up with long-term lung damage. However, it is a hypothesis; it is too early to tell if this is actually a certainty.

For this reason, it is crucial to “flatten the curve” to contain the spread of the virus and not allow hospitals and health institutes to be overwhelmed.




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