Coronavirus. Well you see the damage Covid-19 in the lungs


The University Hospital George Washingtonthrough a podcast, interviewed the doctor Keith Mortman, chief of the division of thoracic surgerywhich, talked about his experience with patients carrying the new coronavirus.

The doctor explained the case of a patient with more than 50 years with a history of high blood pressure.

In the beginning he developed a fever, he later had trouble breathing, so he was in the hospital, where they immediately had to pipe by means of a mechanical ventilator and stabilize your breathing apparatus.

“Soon noticed that progressively I needed more ventilation, and there came a point in which depended entirely on the respirator, it was as well that the hospital contacted us and was transferred to our facility (..) where it was attended with Extracorporeal Membrane oxygenation (ECMO for its acronym in English), an activity that consists of removing the blood from the body to replenish oxygen and then transfer it back to the body, because the work that is running the mechanical ventilator is not enough to get the achievements desired” said Mortman.


The associate professor of the university hospital explained that at the time of seeing the interior of the lungs is very apparent the difference between one healthy and one infected by the virus: “The contrast is clearly evident,” he said.

The doctor explained that his reaction to the internal images of infected lungs by the Covid-19 was to report the images to the people who have not yet taken the relevant measures and to expose the destruction that is disease can occur in the lungs.

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The lungs are affected in such a way that causes the collapse of this organ, to the point of requiring a mechanical ventilator, which is used only in critical situations, explained the specialist in an interview.

The mechanism used to obtain the internal images of the lungs was achieved thanks to the virtual reality, which is used since four years ago as a “surgery of 360 degrees”. The university hospital is the first in the town to use it.

This software creates images in virtual reality with the aim of showing the patient and give a better understanding of the disease that he suffers, he explained.


On the other hand explained the effects of the disease in the lungs of the sick.

“Everything starts as a virus that becomes a serious inflammation that lacerated the lungs, creating a striking damage, which can prevent the breathing of the people,” said the doctor.

Dr. Mortman was questioned about the impact of the disease in young people, which has already been infected by the virus and every day we get new reports of adolescents who are admitted to health units to be treated.

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“Another reason has to do with the asymptomatic patients” many of them are younger age groups, “that do not exhibit possible symptoms but can spread it to the people with whom they come in contact, as his mother, father, grandparents ,siblings, neighbors, partner work, until a stranger”, she specified.

He added that “to suffer other diseases can have defenses low to address the coronavirus, especially the sick people of cancer, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases”.


The specialist explained that the prevention must be individual and it starts with hygiene by washing hands frequently, in addition to be careful with the surfaces where they can live infectious agents.

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In addition to recalling the measures of prevention already known, Mortman alclaró that people should not be locked up 24 hours a day: “experts believe that it is healthy to go out to take the air but to distance themselves from groups that exceed ten people.”

Finally, he pointed out that only those who have symptoms of the disease, such as difficulty breathing, should make use of face cloths: “If you are healthy there is no need to buy or use the masks, it is better to leave the use of the personad doctor,” he said.

(With translation of Alejandra Lebrija)


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