Lung damage can cause some patients to strain to breathe


  • Lung lesions have been observed in some patients with severe forms of COVID-19
  • They can be caused by pressure on these patients to breathe.

The lung lesions observed in some patients with a severe form of Covid may be linked to the efforts they have to make to breathe. Thus these lesions are not the only results of mechanical ventilation used in acute respiratory failure. That’s what’s ahead A study conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick and published in the Annals of Intensive Care.

It was known that the use of ventilators could damage already diseased lungs, and protocols were established to reduce the excessive pressures and forces produced by these devices. But a team of intensive-care doctors used computer modeling that suggests patients’ own breathing efforts can also produce stresses and strains within the lungs that can cause damage.

Efforts to be monitored

To reach this conclusion, the scientists set up a simulator representing a group of 10 Covid patients who were treated with supplemental oxygen. Several respiratory rates were tested ranging from normal breathing to high respiratory effort: the results indicated that potentially harmful stresses and strains could be generated at levels of respiratory effort frequently observed by clinicians in Covid-19 patients. “Our modeling revealed that patients with acute respiratory failure caused by hypoxemia may be at high risk of self-injury to the lung due to increased respiratory effort; Therefore, these efforts must be monitored and controlled during careProfessor Declan Bates from the University of Warwick confirms.

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However, the occurrence of this autoimmune lung damage remains controversial among intensive care professionals. According to some doctors, there is no evidence of these effects. But for others, this self-injury is a fact that involves the use of mechanical ventilation in some patients to avoid it. Without making a certain decision on the matter, Professor Declan Bates specifies that “Patients should always follow the advice of their physicians regarding when to start therapy with oxygen, non-invasive ventilation or mechanical ventilation التهوية“.

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