Hyderabad: Nearly 50 per cent of patients in need of an early liver transplant, who did not undergo the procedure due to fear of contracting COVID-19, died in 2020, the latest report said. The delay in liver transplant proved fatal for them, it noted.
During the times of Covid-19 lockdown and in the subsequent months, a total of 48 patients were in need to undergo liver transplant on an early basis. 23 patients were under regular medical supervision did not contract the virus infection and underwent successful liver transplantation. Seven patients with COVID-19 infection also successfully underwent liver transplant and survived.
Thirteen patients who delayed the go for the procedure due to the fear of contracting the deadly virus or for associated reasons, died because of the delay. Five more of them got infected with COVID-19 and died in the pre-transplant phase, the report said.
“When the condition of liver worsens, transplant is the only option before a patient, and any delay in undergoing the transplant could be fatal. It is important people do not delay transplant when the liver condition worsens,” said Dr. Raghavendra Babu, Clinical Head & Senior Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, in a statement.
Clinical features of COVID-19 patients are highly diverse from pulmonary symptoms to neurological manifestations. Positive patients admitted to hospitals have increased liver enzymes as a common problem, yet it can be rectified. For post-liver transplant patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms are recommended to continue with immunosuppressant medication.
“Considering these aspects patients must not delay from undergoing liver transplant surgery in case doctors recommend it to be performed immediately,” he suggested.