BENGALURU: Unlike asymptomatic and moderately-ill Covid patients, who recover within seven to 10 days, a 70-year-old man with comorbidities and Covid-19 infection in Bengaluru took two months to recover and was finally discharged from hospital last Monday. “The patient’s lungs were severely infected and it took him a longer time to recover.
He was initially on ventilator, then non-invasive ventilation, and after that, oxygen was given on and off. Patients with severe infection in the lungs take more than 25 days to recover. Not just in the elderly, this is observed in younger patients too,” said Dr Pratik Patil, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Fortis Hospital. This is just one example of how hospital stay can be prolonged for patients with severe Covid infection and comorbidities.
Patients with diabetes, history of cardiac issues, preexisting lung disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis, undergo lengthy stays in hospital. The peak of the infection is between 7 and 10 days. However, in cases with comorbidities, the peak is observed in three-four days, when the symptoms, including breathlessness, worsen quickly.
Their hospital stay can last anywhere from two weeks to a month, unlike regular Covid patients who stay for 10 days. “This happens as comorbidities reduce the immunity of a patient, increasing the severity of the virus. They may recover from the Covid infection in two weeks but post Covid, symptoms persist. They may suffer lung fibrosis, their sugar levels fluctuate and they could suffer secondary bacteria and fungal infections, requiring oxygen and antibiotic therapy.
At times, they may be sent home with oxygen support so that they don’t suffer from hypoxia (inadequate oxygen supply),” said Dr Suchismitha Rajanya, consultant, Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospital. Elderly patients must maintain their sugar and blood pressure levels so that they don’t develop severe complications when infected with Covid, experts say.