A number of months into the coronavirus pandemic, hospital physicians are cut up on whether or not long-established remedy protocols for sufferers in respiratory misery are serving to or harming sufferers with Covid-19.
Within the intensive-care unit, medical doctors try to steadiness their very own data and previous experiences treating respiratory sickness with their present experiences treating the novel coronavirus and newly rising information on Covid-19 therapies.
The result’s there may be little consensus amongst physicians about remedy, whilst circumstances and hospitalizations surge in components of the U.S. It additionally means the actual remedy a affected person will get can range broadly from hospital to hospital, and even from physician to physician.
To start with, physicians don’t agree on the kind of lung damage the novel coronavirus causes. One camp says it results in traditional acute respiratory misery syndrome (ARDS), brought on by widespread irritation within the lungs the place the tiny air sacs, the alveoli, thicken, fill with fluid and stiffen. The opposite camp says many Covid-19 sufferers are displaying up with a distinct type of damage, marked by lungs which might be stretchy and extra elastic, not stiff—one thing not sometimes seen in traditional ARDS—although their blood-oxygen ranges are nonetheless low.