Severe Covid-19 Doubles Risk Of Death In The Year After Illness

Survivors of severe Covid-19 are more than twice as likely to die over the following year than those who experienced milder symptoms or remained uninfected, according to new research published in Frontiers in Medicine, suggesting serious infections may cause significant damage to long-term health and underscoring the protection offered by vaccines. The risk following severe infection was particularly noteworthy in patients under 65, who had a 233% increased chance of dying compared to the uninfected, the researchers found. The increased risk of death for under 65s with severe Covid-19 was greater than that for those over the age of 65, the researchers found.

The research, by academics at the University of Florida, was based on an analysis of the electronic health records of 13,638 patients who underwent a PCR test for coronavirus within the University of Florida health system and recovered from the disease. The vast majority of patients—80%did not die from complications typically associated with Covid-19 like blood clotting or respiratory failure and died long after the initial infection had passed, the researchers said, meaning their deaths may never have been linked to Covid-19 by families or doctors. The findings suggest severe infection damages overall health and leaves patients vulnerable to other health issues, the researchers wrote, highlighting the importance of preventing serious illness through vaccination.

Patients with severe Covid-19 who recoveredwere at significantly greater risk of being hospitalized in the subsequent six months” said Arch Mainous, a professor at the University of Florida and the study’s lead author. “We must be especially vigilant in decreasing severe episodes of Covid-19” now we know it comes with a “substantial risk of dying from what would likely be considered to be an unrecognized complication… Taking your chances and hoping for successful treatment in the hospital doesn’t convey the full picture of the impact of Covid-19.”

While not able to prevent all infections, Covid-19 vaccines drastically cut the odds of severe illness and hospitalization in breakthrough cases. The vast majority of deaths from Covid-19 have been among the unvaccinated and hospitals in parts of the country have been pushed to their limits with a deluge of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients. Nearly a year after vaccines became freely and widely available in wealthy countries, leaders still lament the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” amid poor uptake and a resurgence of cases. Placing the immediate risk of Covid-19, this research supports a growing body of evidence outlining the persistent and sometimes new symptoms some coronavirus patients experience for weeks or months after their initial infection. The list of potentially debilitating symptoms for long Covid is long—one study identifies over 200—and covers the entire body, ranging from memory loss and hallucinations to tremors, fatigue and digestive issues. Research suggests that one in five Covid-19 patients will go on to be diagnosed with a mental illness within three months of recovery and conditions affecting the brain and thinking arecommon. Vaccines also appear to slash the risks of developing long Covidstudies suggest, though the precise mechanism of this is not yet understood, aside from preventing infection in the first place.

Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/
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How to Reset the Heart’s Electrical Activity in Seconds

Suffering with a dangerous, irregular heartbeat could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a grape-sized balloon that resets the organ’s electrical activity in seconds. The operation is set to be introduced in heart clinics across the country following widespread approval by NHS health chiefs, with specialists describing it as the ‘next frontier’ of heart treatment.

Roughly 1.4 million Britons suffer with an irregular heartbeat – or atrial fibrillation, as it is medically known – which happens when the nerves in the heart misfire. Over time it can lead to blood pooling and clotting inside the heart, which can trigger a life-threatening stroke, or cause debilitating palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness.

During the new treatment, called radiofrequency balloon ablation, a balloon fitted with ten electrodes is inserted through an artery in the groin and threaded up to the pulmonary veins – which carry oxygenated blood to the heart and where damaged nerves are usually found.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Self-Cleaning Surface Repels The Deadliest SuperBugs

Researchers at McMaster (Canada) have solved a vexing problem by engineering surface coatings that can repel everything, such as bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit beneficial exceptionsThe discovery holds significant promise for medical and other applications, making it possible for implants such as vascular grafts, replacement heart valves and artificial joints to bond to the body without risk of infection or blood clotting. The new nanotechnology has the potential to greatly reduce false positives and negatives in medical tests by eliminating interference from non-target elements in blood and urine.

The research adds significant utility to completely repellent surfaces that have existed since 2011. Those surface coatings are useful for waterproofing phones and windshields, and repelling bacteria from food-preparation areas, for example, but have offered limited utility in medical applications where specific beneficial binding is required

 

It was a huge achievement to have completely repellent surfaces, but to maximize the benefits of such surfaces, we needed to create a selective door that would allow beneficial elements to bond with those surfaces,” explains Tohid Didar of McMaster’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering, the senior author of a paper that appears today in the journal ACS Nano.

In the case of a synthetic heart valve, for example, a repellent coating can prevent blood cells from sticking and forming clots, making it much safer.

A coating that repels blood cells could potentially eliminate the need for medicines such as warfarin that are used after implants to cut the risk of clots,” says co-author , a McMaster PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. Still, she explains, a completely repellent coating also prevents the body from integrating the new valve into the tissue of the heart itself.

By designing the surface to permit adhesion only with heart tissue cells, the researchers are making it possible for the body to integrate the new valve naturally, avoiding the complications of rejection. The same would be true for other implants, such as artificial joints and stents used to open blood vessels.

If you want a device to perform better and not be rejected by the body, this is what you need to do,” says co-author Maryam Badv, also a McMaster PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. “It is a huge problem in medicine.”

Source: https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/