• Jessica Colarossi

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    Jessica Colarossi

    Jessica Colarossi is a science writer for The Brink. She graduated with a BS in journalism from Emerson College in 2016, with focuses on environmental studies and publishing. While a student, she interned at ThinkProgress in Washington, D.C., where she wrote over 30 stories, most of them relating to climate change, coral reefs, and women’s health. Profile

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There are 28 comments on Three Reasons Why COVID-19 Can Cause Silent Hypoxia

  1. A huge thanks to the researchers for their tremendous work in better understanding and learning to treat this novel coronavirus. Well written article on such a complex (&frightening) illness.

  2. The idea that a VQ mismatch in lung disease is obvious. The article is not specific at all- what is the median PaO2 compared to the SPO2?

    A lot of smart people missing the obvious because they lack clinical experience and ignore basic science. A old RRT.

  3. My big brother (72yo) passed away a little over a week ago from Covid-19 pneumonia. He was in Texas. I live in Oregon. He had asthma and from what I can surmise from this paper, suffered through the same symptoms and treatments, including lying prone. When I heard this, I immediately had questions. Unfortunately, I was getting updates sporadically and third person. And it was too late. Before I pose my question, a partial, personal, medical history.
    At the age of 27-28, I was on a ventilator (trach) with pneumonia and my entire thoracic cavity saturated by infection and lying on a Stryker Frame. I was systematically flipped every four hours for roughly two months. I did not improve and nearly died a couple of times. We finally demanded transfer to another hospital. I was immediately placed on a bed that rocked side to side 24/7. I was off the ventilator in 2-3 weeks and the pneumonia defeated. I understand Covid pneumonia is far more difficult to defeat but I can’t help but wonder.

    1. Duane were you able to breathe on your own and keep your oxygen flow normal without using breathing mask. I currently have covid 19 pneumonia and cant breathe on my own without using my breathing mask but they are giving me steroids to help fight inflammation and liquid in lungs. What can I do.

    2. Are you thinking that that side to side swinging bed helped you it sounds like that’s what you’re pondering on I’m only asking because my dad is 66 years old got the Pfizer shot and a month and a half later currently now is been sick with codes for the first time and I don’t know what to do he’s Vincent home they gave him a typical steroid of blood thinner and anxiety pill had him on oxygen but nothing else was working as long as they’re collapsing and giving up I only half of them are working right now and he can barely breathe with tightness they have him home now on hospice care just waiting to die and hopefully that goes smoothly and he doesn’t feel a thing I’m definitely afraid he will I’m hoping that there is some kind of way we can bounce him back and stop this I’m almost too late and he can go at any time and I’ve looked and try to figure out how many options to try to do things different to figure it out it’s hard cuz I’m not there I don’t believe these shots are actually help you have to leave that they’re hurting people and therefore my kids my husband and I are not vaccined my whole family have been exposed and got covid even ones vaccine prior to and my family never vaccine won’t do it we are fine I’m stuck in the dilemma and I don’t know what to do and I’ll do anything to try to figure out how to save him it’s not his time to go my mom is sick too she has blockage in her heart she’s older than he is I’m about to lose both of them one after the other and a quick pace and I am begging for options in an trying to figure out what there is out there cuz there is something we just are not given the knowledge I feel like it’s being kept from us I don’t understand this world anymore and I’m so definitely afraid please recommendations should I have him swing back and forth while doing so how was your position laying in that bed while rocking back and forth so I decide left to right correct

  4. As a young mother I moved to northern WI, and suffered massive sinus , colds, flu ect. every winter. I survived but only when I began herbals did I improve, and became aware that I was not able to take a breath to the lung ‘bottom’ . Now at 74, I walk to town and monitor my breathing chalking up a ‘good walk’ when I can take a breath that ‘bottoms out.” My doctor told me decades ago that I had lung fibrosis. Ideopathic.
    I suspect blastomycosis rampant in northern WI was the original infectious agent. I read now that these 3 fungals cover all of the US: blastomycosis, coccidiosis, and histoplasmosis.

  5. COVID dissociates the oxygen and carbon dioxide carrying iron ion from hemoglobin, thus inducing both lung inflammation due to iron poisoning and hypoxia due to inhibited ability to transport blood gases, a condition exacerbated by blood anemias, such as Sickle Cell.

  6. My bhabhi is a covid 19 patient and on NIV (B grade)from last twelve days.Whenever NIV is being removed, her oxygen level drips badly.Any suggestions please for further treatment…?

  7. I am post-covid-pneumonia. Discharged hypoxic >93 on home Oxygen via 0² extractor. Twice daily Oximeter use continues and reading are mostly 95 to 97. However, at times my sats are between 87 and 93. I am concerned because I do not feel at all worse for wear at these times. I am able to pump up my sats to 97 in about 5 deep diaphragm breaths and to 99 in less than 10. I think my fear of damaged organs due to hypoxia may be misplaced. Am I underestimating a threat here?

    1. My oxygen levels are doing the same exact thing I am also concerned if it’s damaging my organs in any shape form or fashion when I start moving around and walking my oxygen level drops to the 80s and my heart rate goes up over 130 please if anyone has answers I’m willing to listen this is very scary especially when you live alone and doctors can’t seem to give me any answers I am on 3 l of oxygen as needed

  8. I have post Covid silent hypoxia. I had a bad case of Covid in December for weeks and got the BAM infusion. I couldn’t shake the cough and also got strep. While at the office of the second pulmonologist ( the first said I had allergies) my oxygen dropped to 81. They put me in the hospital and every test was unremarkable. I now have supplemental O2 and after a sleep study where I continually drop to low 80s, I have a Cpap and O2. It has been 8 months – I’m generally around 90-91 without O2 but will desat to 80 at rest watching tv. My endurance is terrible and working 1/2 a day is nearly impossible. Please find a treatment for us.

    1. How old are you? I was taking my husband SpO2 and it was 91,92,85,78,90- Freaks me out, and he says he feels fine, just tired sometimes. He’s 50, and to our knowledge he has never had Covid, but was vaccinated in January.

    2. Hi Michelle,

      I have never tested positive for COVID but have had the same symptoms as you and am 37 years old. Currently being seen by a internist and being put through many tests to find out why I sat so low on and off throughout the day. Wondering if maybe I’ve had covid before the pandemic took off and never had the official testing. I am a nurse and have worked through several outbreaks and never contracted it but thinking this may make sense. Thanks for sharing

      1. My husband (55) never had Covid, but was vaccinated in March. Also having low numbers often in the 80s , he now uses a steroid inhaler while doing much cardiac and pulmonary testing to discover the cause. No previous heart or lung issues. Levels stay around 93, but randomly falls into the 80s, completely asymptomatic.

    3. Michele, I’ve been on a CPAP for almost 13 years and for quite some time when I first started using it, I had daytime hypoxia (desat) for no real reason that I could tell. Since then I’ve read studies that indicate that daytime hypoxia is somewhat common with those who have sleep apnea but I don’t think it has been well studied. I can tell you that it took years for my daytime hypoxia to improve and even now I can drop down to low 90s just when walking.

      One thing I would suggest is making sure you have a good AHI. One study (“Age, Body Mass Index, and Daytime and Nocturnal Hypoxia as Predictors of Hypertension in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea”) noted that “AHI plays a synergistic role with age, comorbidity, obesity, daytime, and nocturnal hypoxia in the development of hypertension.”

      That suggests that AHI is related to daytime hypoxia (among other things) and is worth checking on. You may need a pressure adjustment.

      There are two more studies that talk a bit about the link between night time hypoxia from sleep apnea and the link to daytime hypoxia, I don’t know if they will help but I thought I’d share:

      “The Relationship of Daytime Hypoxemia and Nocturnal Hypoxia in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome” by Fanfulla et al.

      “Chronic intermittent hypoxia and obstructive sleep apnea: an experimental and clinical approach” by Sforza et al.

  9. Can you help with suggestions on how to address deteriorating respiratory issues in a Covid patient (35 yrs old) in Myanmar but without any medical or pharmacological assistance. It is impossible to get help. I can only think of blowing into a balloon. However other household members are sick too. I have limited and frequent internet link but I cannot do nothing.

  10. As a respiratory therapist I have worked with many covid patients and as you know we have trouble oxygenating these patients. I came across this article, Preservation of myocardial contractility during acute hypoxia with OMX-CV, a novel oxygen delivery biotherapeutic. I was wondering if anyone knew more about this drug or other biotherapeutics that aid in oxygenation.

  11. I suffer from emphysema and am quite breatless at times. I had my double vaccine and actually ended up in hospital suffering from low oxygen levels. I reall only got breatless if a chest infection was occurring. Now as soon as i get up to walk my oxygen levels are falling quite quickly. . Respiratory nurse said it sounded more like long covid . Will this be a permanent thing now. I ve been given oxygen to assist me but dont know if my condition is going to improve.

  12. Hello everyone my moms currently incubated she is breathing on 34% of her own oxygen which means she’s completely depending on the ventilator machine breaks my heart that her oxygen levels are super low . She does have diabetes and high blood pressure .my mom does have asthma as well. her COVID infection already became pneumonia. She hasn’t improved at all and she’s been the the ventilator on sedation for 5 days today. At this moment I’m just seeking for help to save my moms guidence on what I can do to help her oxygen levels get stable.

  13. My oxygen secretion never drops less than 95. I am 71. Hospitallised sin 11 days. Ct findings 1/25,4/25 and16/25.no fatique,loss of smell or any other symptoms except sleeplessness. Is any matter of concern

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