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COVID-19: Mumbai Seeing Increase in Deaths Due to Weakened Immunity After 12-15 Day Hospitalization


COVID-19: Mumbai Seeing Increase in Deaths Due to Weakened Immunity After 12-15 Day Hospitalization
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A member of the Maharashtra COVID Task Force and Head of Medicine at Sion Hospital, Dr Niteen Karnik has said that a few instances of COVID-related deaths are being caused by delayed cytokine storms. A delayed cytokine storm is an immune response wherein the body attacks its own cells instead of fighting off the virus.

“We have had cases where a delayed cytokine storm was seen from day 12 to day 15. The progression was rapid after that. Patients who were on 2litre oxygen in the morning went on to need five times more by evening,” Dr Karnik said. 

He added that this phenomenon has been witnessed in younger patients too and that deaths occur mostly when patients have been in the hospital for more than 10 days.  

Medical ICU in charge at BYL Nair Hospital, Dr Rajesh Bhadade concurred with Dr Karnik’s assessment saying, “We have seen deaths in patients with a HRCT scan score of 10, while those with scores above 20 have gone home. Besides cytokine, post Covid complications are also responsible for deaths now.” 

Dr Bhadade talked about a recent case wherein the patient had recovered and was shifted to a non-ICU ward. But much to everybody’s surprise, the patient passed away a few days later. “Without an autopsy one can’t be sure. It could be a cardiac arrest or pulmonary embolism, but we have to be mindful of these complications,” Dr Bhadade added.

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As per an official quoted by TOI, severity analysis results show that most patients don’t receive treatment or even a COVID-19 test until the seventh or eighth day, adding to the complications. 

“Importantly, deaths in patients with comorbidities have dropped under 60% which means there is a corresponding increase in deaths among healthy individuals probably due to late hospitalisation,” the official added.

This continues to be a concern for health officials even as COVID deaths in Mumbai have fallen on a weekly basis since May 2021. While average daily deaths stood at 75 during the first week of May, deaths had dropped to 23 by the first week of June.

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