During the onset of the pandemic, it was abundantly clear that the coronavirus is capable of causing significant respiratory damage. Its notably relentless attacks to the lungs demand close monitoring from medical experts. It was observed that the COVID-19 could cause ‘silent hypoxia’, a deadly complication wherein oxygen levels in the body are abnormally low, which could irreparably damage the vital organs.
Hypoxia for COVID-19 patients usually appears with minimal symptoms. There would be little to no reports of shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing for patients of hypoxia, despite its characteristic life-threateningly low oxygen levels. The complication’s subtle nature has earned hypoxia its “silent” moniker.
Essentially, the coronavirus can impact parts of the lungs and have them incapable of proper function which would then restrict the oxygen from infusing into the blood stream. The lining of the lungs’ blood vessels are also inflamed by the infection. This could cause tiny blood clots, too small to be seen on medical scans but could interfere with the normal ratio of air-to-blood flow needed by the body.
The lungs’ natural capacity to redirect blood to instead flow through lung tissue replete with oxygen is found to be compromised by the coronavirus. Rather than restricting blood flow from damaged tissue, COVID-19 patients are instead observed to experience blood vessels that are opening up even more which could go undetected on a CT scan. Blood flow are indeed higher than average in areas of the lungs that can no longer gather oxygen, lowering levels of oxygen throughout the entire body.
To avoid hypoxia for COVID-19 cases, various parameters must be monitored and tested. This would include testing for metabolic status and renal functions (chemistry and electrolytes), the oxygenation status or presence of hypercapnia (blood gases), as well as the presence of hyperlactatemia or septic shock (lactate). For COVID-19 monitoring, i-STAT’s CG4+, CHEM8+, cTnI, BHCG, PT/INR, and BNP cartridges are capable of delivering accurate data for these necessary parameters at real-time speed.
Learn more about how the i-STAT analyzer can boost real-time respiratory monitoring of COVID-19 healthcare facilities. For inquiries and quotation requests, please feel free to fill out this form below.