18-year-old man suffers from post-Covid heart failure at SGRH
New Delhi: Doctors at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have reported a case where a healthy 18-year old boy suffered from heart failure after recovering from COVID-19.
The patient, a resident of Chandni Chowk, suddenly found that day-to-day activities had become difficult due to fatigue and shortness of breath. He was rushed to the hospital because family members got worried when the patient became unconscious after two days.
At the hospital, routine tests including RT-PCR came back negative for COVID-19. However, the patient was found to have a weak, poorly functioning, and enlarged heart. The patients' echocardiography revealed that the heart had started to fail with reduced pumping leading to a build-up of fluids in the lungs which kept him out of breath. He was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is often reported in patients who have recently recovered from a viral infection.
Doctors were alerted to plausible post-covid cardiac complications when the patient gave a history of episodes of fever before experiencing his current symptoms. Upon testing, the patient was found to have unusually high levels of COVID-19 antibodies confirming the suspicion of post-Covid cardiac involvement.
"It is rare that a COVID-19 infection can also directly affect the heart causing inflammation of the Cardiac tissues. This inflammation of the muscles of the heart (Myocarditis) can be a potentially life threatening complication," said Dr Ashwani Mehta, Senior Consultant, Cardiology, at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The patient was treated with antiarrhythmic medication along with heart failure drugs and was discharged in April, after a few days of treatment (admission in the last week of March), and is presently recovering at home.
Doctors at the hospital advise that some symptoms, such as palpitations, fatigue and exercise intolerance, may persist after the acute phase of COVID-19 infection in as many as 35 to 87 percent cases.