Patients complain of pressure sores and marks owing to NIV masks

COVID-19 patients who were on non-invasive ventilator (NIV) in the intensive care units (ICUs) are returning to hospitals reporting scars on their faces, which are pressure sores caused due to the NIV masks. This, doctors pointed out, has occurred as many patients were on NIVs for over a week to 10 days.

Gunasekar Vuppalapati, Chief Medical Director, GVG Invivo Hospital, said that around 15% of the patients who were in the ICU and had recovered are coming back to the hospital to report these scars. He said these marks are found on the nose and forehead, while a few of them have them on the cheeks as well. “Usually, for people who have recovered from COVID-19 after facing a near death experience, coming back to get their scars treated is not a priority. But we want patients to come to get these marks treated and we are suggesting non-surgical treatment that can help heal them faster,” he said.

Mohammed Attaullah Khan S., Consultant Interventional Pulmonologist at Mallige Medical Centre, said that these scars were common among not just COVID-19 patients, but all patients who were on NIV for a long time. “When we are treating the patient, we put them on NIV as saving the life is more important for us. It is common to report these scars and if patients wish, they can be rectified by consulting a plastic surgeon,” he said.

Jagadish Hiremath, chief executive officer, Ace-Suhas Hospital, said that to avoid these pressure sores, they ensure that they alternate between NIV masks and non-rebreather masks for a few hours. “When a person is on NIV, the blood supply to that area is less and it leads to complications such as ulcers or marks. So we try to ensure that the blood supply is adequate when we put the non-rebreather mask. ” He said that some of the patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been on NIV for long complain of darkness of the skin and they have given them the necessary treatment.

A doctor of a city-based hospital who did not wish to be quoted said that the pressure sores could be avoided and the sores and the marks reflected poor nursing care.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 2:32:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/patients-complain-of-pressure-sores-and-marks-owing-to-niv-masks/article32947764.ece

Next Story