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COVID-19 and Pneumolysis Simulating Extreme High-altitude Exposure with Altered Oxygen Transport Physiology; Multiple Diseases, and Scarce Need of Ventilators: Andean Condor's-eye-view

Author(s):

Gustavo R. Zubieta-Calleja*, Natalia Zubieta-DeUrioste, Thuppil Venkatesh, Kusal K. Das and Jorge Soliz   Pages 1 - 15 ( 15 )

Abstract:


Background: Critical hypoxia in this COVID-19 pandemic results in high mortality and economic loss worldwide. Initially, this disease’ pathophysiology was poorly understood and interpreted as a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) pneumonia. The severe atypical lung CAT scan images alerted all countries, including the poorest, to purchase lacking sophisticated ventilators. However, 88% of the patients on ventilators lost their lives. It was suggested that COVID-19 could be similar to a High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). New observations and pathological findings are gradually clarifying the disease.

Methods: As high-altitude medicine and hypoxia physiology specialists from the highlands, we perform a perspective analysis of hypoxic diseases treated at high altitude and compare them to Covid-19. Oxygen transport physiology, SARSCov-2 characteristics, and its transmission, lung imaging in COVID-19, and HAPE, as well as the causes of clinical signs and symptoms, are discussed.

Results: High-altitude oxygen transport physiology has been systematically ignored. COVID-19 signs and symptoms indicate a progressive and irreversible failure in the oxygen transport system, secondary to pneumolysis produced by SARS-Cov-2’s alveolar-capillary membrane “attack”. HAPE’s pulmonary compromise is treatable and reversible. COVID-19 is associated with several diseases, with different individual outcomes, in different countries, and at different altitudes.

Keywords:

HAPE, Tolerance to Hypoxia, SARS-Cov-2, Polyerythrocythemia, EPO, Open circuit Earth space suits.

Affiliation:

High Altitude Pulmonary and Pathology Institute (IPPA), Av. Copacabana - Prolongación # 55, La Paz, High Altitude Pulmonary and Pathology Institute (IPPA), Av. Copacabana - Prolongación # 55, La Paz, High Altitude Pulmonary and Pathology Institute (IPPA), Av. Copacabana - Prolongación # 55, La Paz, Department of Physiology, Shri B.M.Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, BLDE (Deemed to be University), Vijayapur-586103, Karnataka, Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ), Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, QC



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