translated from Spanish: Cardiac patients and COVID-19 – The Counter

Mr. Director:
The COVID-19 pandemic spreads and becomes more aggressive as the affected person gains age, without a precise threshold. This means that it develops in lower and milder numbers in children than in adults, affecting more people over 60 years of age and especially if they are over 80 years of age. Another factor that increases the risk is the presence of chronic diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes and kidney disease. Diseases that precisely increase their prevalence in relation to age. In this way, the presence of a heart condition is a significant risk factor, depending on the severity of heart disease. The presence of a benign, well-tolerated arrhythmia does not constitute a risk, however, convalescence of a recent heart attack or heart failure are important risk factors. Isolated, well-controlled high blood pressure is also not an increased risk, but if it is associated with hypertensive heart disease it falls into vulnerable groups. While we currently know little about COVID-19, we know that deaths are related to lung damage, as this virus has an affinity for injuring alveolar tissue in the lungs. Such respiratory failure causes oxygen deficiency, which can lead to the need for mechanical ventilation. This hypoxia, meanwhile, affects the entire body and both the heart and brain are the most vulnerable. Aside from oxygenation failure, the heart muscle may have viral inflammation that causes an arrhythmia or affects its functioning. The use of chloroquine, as it is used in severe patients, can cause arrhythmias, i.e. heart rhythm disorders. In addition to the strict isolation decreed by the health authority, the call is that cardiopathic patients should be evacuated every year against influenza and especially at this time to avoid another cause of loss of defenses in the immune system, which would also promote the severity of COVID-19 and extreme preventive measures.
Dr. Eduardo Bastías Guzman
Faculty of Medicine
Andrés Bello University

Original source in Spanish

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