On the night of her ninth day of illness, an x-ray showed signs of pneumonia in the left lower lobe of her left lung. This “coincided with a change in respiratory state,” his oxygen saturation levels dropping sharply from 96 to 90 percent.
Now on supplemental oxygen and apparently on a downward slope, the patient was diagnosed with ‘severe pneumonia’ on day 10 when new chest x-rays showed the virus had spread to both his lungs.
Doctors were worried enough to administer an experimental antiviral called remdesivir, which was first developed to fight Ebola and is now more widely tested in the United States and China as a treatment for the coronavirus.
Two days later, the patient’s condition began to improve. Twelve days after falling ill for the first time and eight days in the hospital, he was able to breathe properly without oxygen and his lungs were cleared.
“His appetite improved and he was asymptomatic apart from an intermittent dry cough and rhinorrhea. [snotty nose], noted the hospital.
Adapted from: An article in the New England Journal of Medicine
Case 4: Male, 50 years old. Critical
A 50-year-old man was admitted to a fever treatment clinic in Beijing on January 21 with symptoms of fever, chills, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath.
He visited Wuhan between January 8 and 12 and told doctors he first noticed symptoms of “mild chills and dry cough” on January 14. But rather than seek immediate medical help, he continued to work for another week. Chest x-rays revealed several uneven shadows in both lungs and tests showed he had Covid-19.
He was immediately admitted to an isolation room and received supplemental oxygen through a face mask. After receiving medication, including antivirals and antibiotics, his body temperature dropped from 39 ° C to 36.4 ° C. However, his cough, shortness of breath and fatigue persisted.
On day 12 of his illness, his breathing became more difficult, but he repeatedly refused ventilator assistance in the intensive care unit because he suffered from claustrophobia.
Then in the afternoon of day 14, her blood oxygen levels and shortness of breath worsened. Although he received high flow oxygen therapy, the oxygen saturation levels in his blood fell to 60% and the patient suffered “sudden cardiac arrest”.
He immediately received invasive ventilation, chest compression and adrenaline, but could not be resuscitated. He died at 6:31 p.m. (Beijing time) on January 27.
Adapted from: An article in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
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