Doctors Should Watch for Punctured Lungs in COVID Patients
TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2020 -- Punctured lungs occur in as many as 1 in 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, a new study finds.
Before the pandemic, this problem was typically seen in very tall young men or older patients with severe lung disease. But some British researchers noticed that several patients with COVID-19 developed the condition and decided to investigate.
"We started to see patients affected by a punctured lung, even among those who were not put on a ventilator," said Stefan Marciniak, a professor at the University of Cambridge Institute of Medical Research.
"To see if this was a real association, I put a call out to respiratory colleagues across the U.K. via Twitter," Marciniak said in a university news release. "The response was dramatic -- this was clearly something that others in the field were seeing."
The researchers noted that damage to the lungs can lead to a puncture. As air leaks out, it builds up in the space between the lung and chest, causing lung collapse. This is also called a pneumothorax.
For the study, Marciniak analyzed data from 16 hospitals in Britain. He found that 0.91% of their COVID-19 patients had developed a punctured lung.
Of those patients with a punctured lung, 63% survived, but older patients had an increased risk of death. The survival rate among those younger than 70 was 71%, compared with 42% among those who were older, according to the study. The results are in the Sept. 9 European Respiratory Journal.
Patients with abnormally acidic blood, called acidosis, also had poorer outcomes. Acidosis can result from poor lung function.
"Doctors need to be alert to the possibility of a punctured lung in patients with COVID-19, even in people who would not be thought to be typical at-risk patients," Marciniak said.
"Many of the cases we reported were found incidentally -- that is, their doctor had not suspected a punctured lung and the diagnosis was made by chance," he noted.
The researchers said there are a number of ways that COVID-19 could lead to a punctured lung, including the formation of cysts in the lungs.
© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: September 2020
Further Support and Information on COVID-19
Read this next
FRIDAY, June 11, 2021 -- If you're obese, you're far more likely to have long-lasting health issues if you get COVID-19 and survive, a new study warns. You are more likely than...
FRIDAY, June 11, 2021 -- U.S. regulators have extended the expiration date on millions of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine doses by six weeks, the company announced...
CDC Calls Emergency Meeting on Heart Inflammation Link to COVID Vaccines An emergency meeting will be held June 18 to discuss rare reports of heart inflammation in people who've...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.