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Post Covid Lungs Look Worse Than Any Smoker's, Surgeon Says

Post Covid Lungs Look Worse Than Any Smoker's, Surgeon Says

A doctor says that the lungs of patients who manage to recover from Covid-19 appear to be worse than those of a smoker.

Dr Brittany Bankhead-Kendall, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, shared X-rays of a smoker's lungs, which are quite patchy and hazy, alongside those of a Covid patient's, which are totally white.

According to the surgeon, this is due to the intense scarring caused by the disease and a lack of air which is able to enter the lungs.

Dr Bankhead-Kendall shared a photo of a Covid patient's X-ray. Credit: Twitter
Dr Bankhead-Kendall shared a photo of a Covid patient's X-ray. Credit: Twitter
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Dr Bankhead-Kendall has treated thousands of patients for the virus over the past year, and wants to warn people about the long-term dangers of the disease and the importance of taking it seriously.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote: "I don't know who needs to hear this, but 'post-Covid' lungs look worse than ANY type of terrible smoker's lungs we've ever seen. And they collapse. And they clot off. And the shortness of breath lingers on... & on... & on."

Speaking to local news station CBS DFW, the surgeon said that people were focussing too much on whether people survived and not enough on the long-term effects.

"Everyone's just so worried about the mortality thing and that's terrible and it's awful,' she said.

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A smoker's lungs. Credit: Twitter
A smoker's lungs. Credit: Twitter

"But man, and all the survivors and the people who have tested positive this is - it's going to be a problem."

Covid-19 often causes a patient to suffer complications, such as pneumonia, which is where the lungs become inflamed and fill up with fluid, restricting the amount of oxygen that can get in and causing them to cough and struggle to breathe.

It has also been found to damage the epithelial cells, which line the respiratory passages from the nose to the lungs.

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Healthy lungs. Credit: Twitter
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To show the effects of the disease, she posted three X-rays: one of a smoker, another of someone who had recovered from Covid-19, and a third from a healthy set. And the difference is stark.

The healthy set, unsurprisingly, look fine, while those belonging to the smoker are slightly misty.

However, those of the recovered Covid patient are almost completely white, showing the extent of the damage caused by the deadly disease.

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Dr Bankhead-Kendall told the publication that whether they know it or not at the time, there is a strong possibility that patients who recover from a severe case will experience complications in the future.

She said: "You'll either see a lot of that white dense scarring or you'll see it throughout the entire lung.

"And if you're not feeling problems now the fact that that's on your chest X-ray It sure is indicative of you possibly having problems later on."

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Over in the UK, some doctors have lost faith in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's handling of the pandemic.

The protest - which was planned to coincide with the Clap For Heroes at 8pm - saw five campaigners in PPE hold a banner which read: "You failed the public, You failed the NHS, Boris must go."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Dr Brittany Bankhead-Kendall

Topics: covid, Science, UK politics, Coronavirus, US News, Boris Johnson, Politics, Health, Covid-19

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Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]