ItHome Cardiac Arrest Cause of death in Covid-19 positive heart patients still vague | Bengaluru News

Cause of death in Covid-19 positive heart patients still vague | Bengaluru News

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Bengaluru: Of 275 patients who visited Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research (SJICSR) in Bengaluru since the pandemic broke, three died within two days of admission. They tested positive for Covid-19, but doctors cannot say whether they died of heart ailments or the virus.
This is because autopsies are banned on Covid-19 fatalities, say doctors at SIJCSR. All three deaths — a 74-year-old woman from BTM Layout who died on June 12, a 64-year-old man who died on July 15 and a 56-year-old man who died on June 17 — occurred in the past one week.
“None of these patients had travel history or exposure to positive patients,” said Dr CN Manjunath, director, SIJSCR. “X-rays of their lungs showed shadows, suggesting an acute infection. So it’s very difficult to say whether they died due to Covid-19 or of a heart attack.” The woman’s husband also died a day after she passed away, but his Covid-19 status was unavailable.
Since SIJSCR has its own TrueNAT Covid-19 lab, test results are available in just a couple of hours. Prior to getting its own TrueNAT lab, two more patients had consulted at SIJSCR, but they were sent to Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases where they died. They too had tested positive.
Early in May, the state government had written to Indian Council for Medical Research seeking permission to conduct lung biopsies and clinical autopsies on Covid-19 fatalities. The government argued that it would help provide better care for critical patients and reduce mortality rates. But ICMR and World Health Organisation protocols ban autopsies.
Medical data published so far shows an infection can lead to thrombosis (clotting of blood) a condition that has occurred in multiple patients leading to heart attacks, says Dr Adil Sadiq, head, cardiac surgery, Sakra World Hospital.
“SARS-CoV-2 infects the lungs, which work in tandem with the heart,” said Dr Sadiq. “When lung function dips, the heart gets choked. There is no clarity yet on the progression of the virus in a human body, but autopsy reports from abroad suggest the heart and lung infections are caused by Covid-19. Only time will provide clarity.”
Citing the case of a 52-year-old man in May, who came to Sakra with a complaint of chest pain and asked for an angiogram, Dr Sadiq said, “He wanted to use the toilet and collapsed there following a massive heart attack. At that time, government SOP did not permit testing on all, so he wasn’t tested. He wasn’t from a containment area and we don’t know whether he was infected or not. Now, such patients are tested for Covid-19, which provides more clarity.”

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