When Omicron isn't so sweet

While they may not be hospitalized for respiratory illnesses, “we are seeing an exacerbation of other conditions in vulnerable individual...

While they may not be hospitalized for respiratory illnesses, “we are seeing an exacerbation of other conditions in vulnerable individuals,” said Dr. Sandra Nelson, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. . In some cases, patients were dehydrated from the effects of a viral infection and suffered from kidney failure.

Doctors say it’s not always clear what role Omicron plays, but there is a plausible biological explanation for a virus causing systemic problems in patients. “You’re going to see the kidneys getting worse, etc.,” said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, critical care specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

At St. Luke’s, where Ms Perez was admitted, about two-thirds of coronavirus-positive patients in the system’s network had a primary diagnosis of Covid, but an additional 15-20% were diagnosed with other illnesses, such as sepsis or acute kidney failure, which doctors said was clearly linked to a viral infection.

“This is not an incidental diagnosis,” said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, infectious disease specialist and senior vice president of medical and academic affairs at St. Luke’s University Health Network, which operates 11 hospitals in Pennsylvania and New York. Jersey.

In some cases, those patients may have had a “smoldering” case of diabetes or hypertension that a Covid case turned into a serious illness, said Dr. Nicholas Kman, an emergency physician at Wexner Medical Center in Ohio. State University at Columbus. In other cases, people who had successfully managed their conditions before being infected, like Ms Perez, arrive with high blood sugar or worrying hypertension.

Others, like transplant or cancer patients – although fully vaccinated – are unable to mount a sufficient immune response to protect against serious disease when infected.

Doctors say these admissions – often classified as “with” Covid rather than “for” Covid – have had significant effects on stressed hospitals. “All of these patients add to the augmentation and volume,” Dr. Kman said, adding that “one or two extra patients can push a healthcare system over the edge.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: When Omicron isn't so sweet
When Omicron isn't so sweet
Newsrust - US Top News
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