Hospitals release COVID-19 autopsy reports for research

As part of measures to improve the management of COVID-19 in Ghana, the 37 military and Ga East Municipal hospitals have released autopsy reports for research purposes.

The research was conducted by 10 medical professionals.

At the end of the research, the team concluded that damage to the lungs was a key feature of deaths caused by the virus in the country.

“A management approach that recognizes early-onset ARDS/DAD [Diffuse Alveolar Damage/Acute Respiratory Disorder], and aggressively treat or prevent further damage to the lung may improve the survival of patients,” the report published in the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine said.

The team used twenty deceased persons between 20 years and 79 years who tested for COVID-19 before or after death.

Almost all of them had co-morbid conditions.

Thirteen of the patients were 55-years or older and 65 percent of the patients had Type II diabetes or hypertension.

There was an equal proportion of males and females for the study.

“Most of these patients presented with respiratory symptoms of varying severity with decreased saturation on intranasal oxygen (INO2) in association with other constitutional symptoms such as fever, headache, malaise, generalized weakness and collapse,” the report indicated.

One patient was described as “out of the ordinary” because of an initial presentation of tonic-clonic seizures and bleeding from the vagina.

She later developed respiratory distress.

The report explained that the outcome of COVID-19 testing is dependent on the sample type and accuracy of sampling amongst other factors.

Despite these findings, the report indicates that “more autopsies are required to fully understand the pathogenesis of this disease in Ghanaians.

Per data from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the country has so far recorded 80,253 cases of the virus and 577 deaths as of February 18, 2021.

The country currently has 6,658 active cases of infection, according to the latest update from the Ghana Health Service.

Out of the active cases, 113 persons are in severe condition with 29 others in critical condition.

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