The Critical Need To Monitor COVID-19 Patients For Cardiac Damage
Presently, the whole world is battling the adversities brought on by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. This disease affects the body as whole, and weakens the critical organs. One of its primary targets is the heart. COVID can cause serious heart damage in the patients, which might sustain throughout the patient’s life.
Moreover, even if the patient is asymptomatic, there is a chance of sustaining cardiac damage. The disease is therefore, capable of causing serious problems in the heart even when the patient faces minor discomfort or none at all. This is one of the reasons why COVID is considered a deadly disease. Hence, the need for monitoring such patients for heart damage is critical for their health.
Individuals who already have heart problems are at a greater risk of damage from the disease. This is because COVID affects the lungs and lets infections develop in the respiratory system. This puts more pressure on the heart which can cause serious complications in the delicate organ.
The need for monitoring COVID patients for cardiac damage
When it comes to cardiac issues in COVID patients, two main issues are most common and deadly. In severe cases of the virus, there is a possibility of heart failure. This is because COVID patients are prone to getting high lung damage which can put a lot of pressure on the heart muscles for pumping oxygen-rich blood, causing its stoppage. There could be a systematic inflammatory response in the heart due to the disease itself, or myocarditis which is a condition where the inner walls of the heart get inflamed, stopping the blood flow in the heart.
In older patients and heart patients, mortality could be a result of the high pressure put on the cardiac muscles by the disease itself and the patient’s cardiac reserve capacity being stretched thin. In younger patients, myocarditis is a direct result of getting the virus.
The second situation is arrythmia or abnormal heart rhythms which could be an after effect of taking the medication for COVID, or the stress that the virus puts on the heart muscles. Since there is still research going on over the topic of medicines showing side effects in the patients, nothing conclusive can be said on the topic.
Due to the uncertainties in the treatment of COVID patients, it is has become necessary to keep them under 24-hour supervision. Such patients also require immediate diagnosis of their condition and intervention if their health condition worsens.
The case of asymptomatic patients
Research has shown clear relation between COVID patients and heart damage, even when the patients are asymptomatic. A common issue in asymptomatic individuals is myocarditis. The most dangerous part of this is that patients with no symptoms don’t feel pain or abnormalities in the heart. Even physical examination cannot disclose if the heart has been affected or not. It is only through a high-definition scan that cardiac injury can be identified in asymptomatic patients. Therefore, in such cases it is essential to get a checkup done even if the patient appears to be healthy.
Role of ultrasound in cardiac care of COVID patients
Ultrasound is one of the most effective ways of diagnosing cardiac health of COVID patients. It is a quick image producing technology that helps the doctors check the patient’s heart damage in a very short time enabling the treatment to startwithin minutes. Moreover, ultrasound produces a high-definition image that accurately points out the affected areas of the heart. MediScan is one such technology that produces HD images in the scan, ensuring the accuracy of the diagnosis.
POCUS (point-of-care ultrasound) and bedside ultrasounds make it easier to examine patients as light-weighted equipment is easily portable. It is also easy to handle and requires only one trained professional to handle the task which saves several doctors from being exposed to the virus. Apart from this, patients who need treatment at home or on the go also benefit from Point-Of-Care technologies as they don’t need to reach the medical facilities for the treatment to start.
Ultrasound technologies like MediScan remain at the forefront of cardiac care in the midst of coronavirus disease. HD ultrasound not only helps in clearly monitoring COVID patients, but also is integral to their recovery and future health status.