For such a long time, one of the deadliest medical conditions that plagued the earth was COVID-19. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2, a deadly strain of virus that can cause the lungs to collapse when not dealt with properly and in a timely manner. Once the virus enters the body, it gets in contact with the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract lining. Once the virus enters the cells, it rapidly multiplies, infecting not only the lungs but the surrounding organs and cells. You will start to manifest symptoms affecting the upper and lower respiratory systems. The immune system will do its best to fight off the infection, and if you don’t have a strong immune system, you will most likely end up tremendously ill.
Inflammation of the lungs could lead to pneumonia, especially if they are filled with excess fluids, causing breathing difficulty as manifested by shortness of breath. If you are infected with Covid-19, there are certain measures you can take to strengthen and hasten your recovery. However, precautions must be taken ahead of time to avoid virus-caused lung damage. The saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”
Treatment recommendations for Covid-19
- The treatment yields towards a symptomatic approach. Whenever the patient experiences symptoms such as shortness of breath and upper respiratory infection, it will be dealt with right away to prevent the condition from worsening.
- To suppress the replication of the virus, the patient is given anti-viral medication along with an anti-inflammatory agent to fully combat the symptoms of Covid-19.
- For severe Covid-19 cases, the patient is put on an endotracheal tube and a mechanical ventilator when needed to address airway problems. Such a mode of treatment can also help the respiratory system function normally.
- Severe Covid-19 cases may lead to pneumonia by causing damage to lung tissues, which also affects the flow of oxygen to the lungs and various body parts. Preventing lung damage from virus (วิธี ป้องกัน เชื้อ ลง ปอด, term in Thai), the doctor will start oxygen supplementation directly to the lung tissues to ensure adequate oxygen airflow to the vital organs of the body.
- If the patient’s condition becomes fatal, a mechanical ventilator might not be of that much help. So, the patient is put on ECMO, or Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. The goal is to deliver support to both the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. With such a treatment approach, the blood is pumped outside of the body, going to the membrane to get rid of carbon dioxide and at the same time transporting blood filled with oxygen to the vital tissues of the body. With this method, the oxygenated blood bypasses the heart and lungs so these organs can rest and recuperate.
Caring for your lungs
Although vaccines for Covid-19 were already created and the majority of people have received their complete set of vaccines, it does not mean you can be lax when it comes to caring for your lungs and health in general. Safety precautions must be observed at all times, such as frequent handwashing, wearing of face masks, especially when going out in public and social distancing. It would be helpful if you stayed away from crowds, especially in areas with high cases of infection.