VERIFY: Are post COVID-19 lungs worse than long-time smokers’ lungs?

Our Verify team spoke with two pulmonologists to find out how lung price of recovering COVID-19 patients compares to lung wrong from accustomed smoke WASHINGTON — QUESTION: Are post-COVID-19 lungs worse than long-time smokers ‘ lungs ? ANSWER:

It depends on the severity of the COVID-19 case. however, our experts say that it ‘s by and large true. SOURCES:

  • Dr. Panagis Galiatstatos- Pulmonary and critical care medicine physician, assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, director of the Tobacco Treatment Clinic
  • Dr. Michael Matthay- Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco

PROCESS: Lots of people on sociable media are talking about the long-run effects of COVID-19. One tweet from a charwoman who says she ‘s a trauma surgeon and ICU doctor, got a fortune of buzz on-line.

“ I do n’t know who needs to hear this, but ‘post-Covid ‘ lungs look worse than any type of awful stag party ‘s lungs we ‘ve seen, ” she wrote. “ And they collapse. And they clot off. And the shortness of breath lingers on … & on … & on. ” Lots of people began comparing the two on-line. So we ‘re Verifying : Do people who recover from COVID have worse lung damage than long-time smokers? Our Verify researchers spoke with two pulmonologists, doctors who specialize in the respiratory system : Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Dr. Michael Matthay, a professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. They both agree the pinch is pretty accurate, but it ’ s a bit excessively wide — not all recovering COVID-19 patients have worse lungs than all smokers. “ The challenge we have is it ‘s going to be grey, ” Galiatsatos said. “ severe COVID-lung would be worse than a affected role who smokes ‘s lungs. Mild cases, probable no. ” “ Mild COVID would be like I smoked for one ten, ” Galiatsatos late added.

Our Verify researchers asked Dr. Matthay if he thought that person who is nauseated with COVID inherently has worse lungs than person who ‘s been smoking for a decade. “ Yes, yes they do, ” Matthay said. “ They decidedly do, because the patients who have COVID-19 lung injury and pneumonia, particularly in both lungs, yes, they decidedly have worse lungs radiographically and functionally than the affected role has just been cigarette smoking for 10 or 20 years. ” Dr. Galiatsatos shared roentgenogram images of patients with the Verify team to show the differences between convention lungs, lungs belonging to a COVID-19 affected role and lungs from a long-time stag party :

  • Healthy lungs (left) are uniform with a little bit of gray to this, showing the gas exchange transpiring.  
  • Lungs of a COVID-19 patient (middle) are more opaque and white, which shows inflammation and an active infection.
  • Smokers’ lungs (right) may have a portion that’s dark black which can indicate emphysema.

Both Galiatsatos and Matthay noted that the pace at which your a patients ‘ lungs become damaged by COVID is much faster than by smoking. “ To me, this is kind of like comparing what ‘s worse … a class five hurricane or an earthquake in a large metropolitan area ? ” Galiatsatos said. “ They ‘re both badly. They ‘re just different types of that. ” The deviation is the pace at which they ravage your harmonium and induce symptoms like shortness of breath and cough : one occurs gradually, the early quickly. “ The severe COVID-19 patient gets to be expedited to that symptom level in a identical short period of time, ” Galiatsatos said. “ so both lung imaging are bad, they are atrocious, and they ‘ll give you those lapp symptoms precisely one much faster than the other matchless. indeed to me, I would say person with severe COVID-19 from SARS-CoV-2 you ‘re experiencing what a person whose smoked extensively for years, they ‘re experiencing those symptoms in an immediate sense, versus having to wait decades. ” But Dr. Matthay says there ’ s a silver line. “ many if not most of the COVID-19 patients with hard lung injury will have a good prognosis for recovering most of their lung officiate, and that that ‘s precisely the dispute with smoking-induced lung injury, the potential for convalescence is minimal, ” Matthay said. He said that data from the past year suggests that those with COVID-19 relate lung injuries, should gradually recover.
It ’ south besides worth noting a couple of weeks after that tweet went viral the master bill poster tweeted, “ a reminder-this is my personal experience, not a trial or nationally data. ”

So we can Verify, according to our experts, yes, in general people recovering from dangerous COVID-19 have worse lung damage than accustomed smokers. Remember patient recovery is a solid spectrum. Do you have something you want our Verify team to look into? Email the whole team, verify@wusa9.com

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