Delivered April 21, 2020. Contributor: Gbolahan G.
To prove or disprove the hypothesis that COVID-19 patients are dying of hypoxemia and not pneumonia.
Our preliminary findings indicate that the two conditions are linked — that is, hypoxemia is a natural progression of pneumonia, but not in all cases.
As of present, the top question within the health community is if they are dealing with respiratory failure (resulting from pneumonia) or oxygen failure (a form of hypoxemia).
Recently, there's been a call to reexamine the treatment protocol for COVID-19 as some doctors are beginning to conclude that COVID-19 does not primarily lead to pneumonia, but hypoxemia. However, this is still an early stage hypothesis, and nothing has been confirmed as of present.
The primary distinction between respiratory issues caused by patients suffering from severe strains of COVID-19 and pneumonia is that in cases of pneumonia, patients typically suffer from weak lung muscles and need help in the form of ventilators to breathe, but are well capable of utilizing the oxygen provided by the ventilator.
However, according to some of the latest thinking in the health community, patients with severe forms of COVID-19 typically have working lungs but suffer from severe lack of oxygen in their bloodstream due to the body's inability to absorb provided oxygen even when placed on ventilators.
The situation being witnessed in patients with COVID-19 is very similar to what people experience in low oxygen environments, where they are able to breathe, but there isn't just enough oxygen in the air leading to multiple organ failure, a type of hypoxemia. And if this happens to be the case, the current form of treatment, which is pressuring the lungs to open, through a ventilator, might be the wrong course of action, as it doesn't provide for the body's inability to absorb provided oxygen.
Only the project owner can select the next research path.