Does COVID-19 damage your heart? BM Birla reveals

There has been a continuous rise in COVID positive patients suffering from heart disease. Rather we

can say that one in five patients suffering from COVID-19 have signs of heart injury regardless of

whether they have any respiratory symptoms. 20% of covid-19 patients complain of chest pain and

shortness of breath and that eventually turns out they suffer heart attack. Even during pandemic,

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is doing their utmost to treat one who needs immediate cardiac

attention in a safe environment. We are very pleased to inform you that we are treating patients

who are enrolled under the Swasthya Sathi a health scheme by the government of West Bengal. It

is interesting to note that there is no capping on the family size and the parents of both the spouse

are covered under this scheme.

As we know that cardiac patients fall into a high-risk category for COVID-19 infection, it is important to keep certain points in mind to prevent ourselves from getting infected.

1. Continue doing exercise

2. Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated and get adequate sleep

3. Maintain a social distance while communicating with friends and family

4. Do not use coping strategies involving alcohol or drugs.

5. Limit the information you consume about the outbreak and the time you spend on it

6. Avoid anxiety. Relax and try to remain resilient

7. Stay at home as much as possible. If you have fever or chest infection you should be self-isolate

yourself and contact your doctor

8. Always wear mask and do not forget to sanitize your hands

9. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

10. Clean often-touched surfaces like doorknobs, handles, steering wheels, or light switches, with a

disinfectant to remove the virus.

We are assessing that recent recovery from the novel coronavirus infection as determined by RT-PCR

which checks for the presence of the virus from swab tests of patients for upper respiratory tract.

Speaking on this Dr. Dhiman Kahali, Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology, BM Birla

Heart Research Centre said, “The problem associated with COVID-19 is the amount of inflammation

the infection causes which affects the heart health. Recent research suggests that there are few

mechanisms as to why COVID-19 damages the heart leading to widespread of inflammation the

infection causes, the possibility that the virus directly infects and injures the cardiovascular system

and overall stress the infection puts on the pre-existing heart condition. It is interesting to note that

patients who are COVID-19 positive complain of chest pain and shortness of breath and eventually

they have heart attack due to non-occlusive blockage or due to thrombosis in the lumen of the

coronary artery.”

Severe COVID-19 infection can cause massive inflammation throughout the body, and if it affects the

heart the consequences can be serious. It has been observed that fast and appropriate treatment of

people suffering can bring heart rhythms back to normal which can lead to lesser risk in COVID-19.

Although people with existing heart disease have a greater risk, a small percent of people with no

pre-existing heart issues have also experienced heart damage from COVID-19. It’s important for

those with cardiovascular disease to be isolated from people with COVID-19 symptoms and to

remain under proper treatment with vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia. We as a team at BM

Birla Hospitals, are continuing to learn so that we can give our patients the best possible care. We

are taking all the necessary steps and we hope we can fight it back together.

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