Patients

Fear of Covid Leads Other Patients to Decline Critical Treatment

It was the call Lance Hansen, gravely ill with liver disease, had been waiting weeks for, and it came just before midnight in late April. A liver was available for him. He got up to get dressed for the three-hour drive to San Francisco for the transplant surgery.

And then he panicked.

“Within five minutes after hanging up, he started hyperventilating,” his wife, Carmen, said. “He kept saying: ‘I’m going to get Covid, and then I’m going to die. And if I die, I want my family there.’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

She promised she would wait outside the hospital, as patients’ families were barred from entering. She warned that he might not get another chance at a new liver before it was too late. She told him he could die if he didn’t go. Still, Mr. Hansen, 59, refused.

In a world seeded with anxiety, fear

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Black Coronavirus Patients Land in Hospitals More Often, Study Finds

As the coronavirus spread across the United States, sweeping through low-income, densely populated communities, black and Hispanic patients have been dying at higher rates than white patients.

Crowded living conditions, poorer overall health and limited access to care have been blamed, among other factors. But a new study suggests that  the disparity is particularly acute for black patients.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and the prevalence of chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggests that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

Black patients were also far less likely than white, Hispanic or Asian patients to have been tested for the virus before going to the emergency room for care.

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Coronavirus May Pose a New Risk to Younger Patients: Strokes

Ravi Sharma was doubled over on his bed when his father found him. He’d had a bad cough for a week and had self-quarantined in his bedroom. As an emergency medical technician, he knew he was probably infected with the coronavirus.

Now, Mr. Sharma, 27, could not move the right side of his body, and could only grunt in his father’s direction. His sister, Bina Yamin, on the phone from her home in Fort Wayne, Ind., could hear the sounds.

“Call 911,” she told her father. “I think Ravi’s having a stroke.” She was right.

Over the next few hours, doctors at a Queens hospital worked frantically to break up a blood clot blocking an artery to Mr. Sharma’s brain. But the doctors were puzzled.

Mr. Sharma was far too young for a stroke. He worked out every day and didn’t have diabetes, high blood pressure or the kinds of

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Low-Tech Way to Help Some Covid Patients: Flip Them Over

Hospitals across the country are filled with a curious sight these days: patients lying on their bellies.

Patients almost always lie on their backs, a position that helps nurses tend to them and allows them to look around if they’re awake. But for many patients, the coronavirus crisis is literally flipping the script.

The surprisingly low-tech concept, called proning, can improve breathing in patients stricken by the respiratory distress that is the hallmark of the virus, doctors have found. It draws from basic principles of physiology and gravity. Lying on one’s stomach helps open airways in lungs that have become compressed by the fluid and inflammation unleashed by the coronavirus infection.

When patients are on their backs, “the heart is now sitting on top of the lungs and compressing it even more,” said Dr. Michelle Ng Gong, chief of the divisions of critical care and pulmonary medicine at Albert Einstein

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