Telangana

Large chunk of ICU patients aged under 40

A large number of young patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms are getting admitted to ICUs this year. While a majority of patients requiring intensive care last year were aged 60 years or above with co-morbidities, around 45% of the current lot of affected persons are aged below 40 years, said CEO of Continental Hospitals, Riyaz Khan.

“Probably, vaccination of people above 45 years has helped in de-risking them. Some people who were vaccinated are testing positive for COVID again, but it may not be severe in them,” Dr Khan said.

Senior officials of the Health department have also made the observation that severity of infection was low in those who had taken two doses of the vaccination but later tested positive for the virus.

Regardless of whether a person has taken the vaccine or not, everyone should wear masks, maintain social distancing, and sanitise hands regularly, says Dr Khan, adding that by not wearing masks, people are risking their lives and that of others too.

Head of Critical Care at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, K. Subba Reddy said that compared to last year, more number of younger patients with severe COVID are getting admitted to the ICU. He observed that unlike last year, a patient’s health starts to deteriorate from the fifth or sixth day of infection. A correlation with viral load was suspected but Dr Subba Reddy said a study is needed to establish the correlation.

Increased movement and work from office could be the reason for more cases among the younger population.

‘Keep beds free’

Managing director of KIMS Hospitals, B. Bhaskar Rao has urged citizens to follow doctor’s advice regarding home isolation or admission at hospital. He said that most patients may not require hospitalisation.

Like last year, some patients and their families who become anxious after contracting COVID insist on getting admitted to the hospital, which could lead to shortage of beds for patients actually requiring medical attention. In such critical situations, families end up rushing from one hospital to another, or enquiring over phone with multiple hospitals about the availability of beds, adding to their stress.

“Get admitted only if doctors suggest it. Right now, 20% of people may not require oxygen. Most patients are getting discharged within two to three days, unlike five to seven days last year,” Dr Bhaskar Rao said.

Recently, corporate hospital managements were suggested to open COVID Care Centres where people with mild form of the infectious disease can get admitted. This is expected to help keep the hospital beds free for critical COVID or non-COVID patients.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 7:48:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/large-chunk-of-icu-patients-aged-under-40/article34291949.ece

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