Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: Do All COVID-19 Patients Need CT Scans?

Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: Do All COVID-19 Patients Need CT Scans?

Doctors advise against getting a CT scan for COVID-19 patients unless there is a severity in symptoms
COVID-19 Explained: Do All COVID-19 Patients Need CT Scans?One CT scan is equivalent to 300-400 chest X-rays and this increases the risk of having cancer in later life: Expert
Highlights
  • CT scan is not for mild COVID cases: Dr Randeep Guleria
  • CT scan exposure can cause cancer in the later life: Dr Randeep Guleria
  • Monitoring regular symptoms is enough for diagnosis of COVID-19: Expert

New Delhi: There has been an ongoing debate  among the healthcare workers, on whether and when a COVID patient needs to get a CT scan done. AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria recently warned of the misuse of CT scans and biomarkers by patients having mild COVID-19 symptoms. He said that the overuse of CT scans increases exposure to radiation that in turn escalates the risk of cancer.

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A study showed that a CT scan of an asymptomatic person and found that 30-40 per cent asymptomatic patients also had patches in the lungs and recover on its own.

He further said that one CT scan is equivalent to 300-400 chest X-rays and this increases the risk of having cancer in later life, especially among the youth, as one is exposed to harmful radiation.

If you are in doubt, then go for a chest X-ray first. If necessary, the doctor will give proper advice whether a CT scan is needed or not, Dr Guleria had said.

NDTV spoke with Dr Mrinal Sircar, Head, Pulmonology at Fortis Hospital, Noida, about when is it necessary to get CT scans and whether doctors are advising it indiscriminately as suggested by Dr Guleria.

For mild COVID patients, there’s absolutely no indication that they need a CT Scan. Only severe patients who are admitted in the hospitals, some of them may need a CT scan as part of their treatment to decide how serious their disease is and if there are any complications. Mild cases getting a CT scan is completely unnecessary, in terms of both money and radiations that they are facing.

There are times when what is thought to be a mild case, turns out to be pneumonia or some serious lung patches, which is revealed in the CT scan. So people feel that it may help them fight the virus. To this concern, Dr Sircar says that a CT scan is not the only indicator for this. He explains,

I don’t think only the scan can help you identify the severity. Condition of the patient, factors like oxygen levels, temperature, breathlessness can say a lot about the case. CT scan is completely unnecessary people as it scares them and causes anxiety.

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NDTV also spoke to Dr Vijay Surase, Interventional Cadiologist, Jupiter Hospital, who says that most cases with the new mutation turn out to be negative in RTPCR tests, so they are forced to turn to CT scans. He said,

Only diagnostic test that can give you a clue about this viral illness today is through CT scan. But when experts say the CT scan is being overused, I think there is no other modality by which we can diagnose at this stage. But doing the CT scan for a person multiple times can expose a person to risk. This is one of the best test to properly diagnose this illness.

Dr Sircar says that a lot of misinformation floating around could also be behind the misuse of CT scans. He said,

When the pandemic is raging around us, and based on the simplest symptoms alone, we can treat this illness even while we wait for RT-PCR. I would like to assert that a CT scan is necessary only for severe patients.

Dr Surase says that the variant that has caused the second wave may be highly transmissible but is not as lethal.

The second wave is not very lethal but rapid change in the clinical picture is happening. But this time people are not getting the classical COVID-pneumonia or dangerous patches. It is similar to a common cold and those who feel breathless should be seeing physicians. Those who become very breathless, are the ones who may need a CT scans, he concluded.

Also Read: Organ Transplant Recipients Vulnerable To COVID-19 Even After Vaccination: Study

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,66,30,634Cases
5,80,25,717Active
11,47,82,895Recovered
38,22,022Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,66,30,634 and 38,22,022 have died; 5,80,25,717 are active cases and 11,47,82,895 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 3:30 am.

India

2,96,33,105 62,224Cases
8,65,43247,946Active
2,83,88,100 1,07,628Recovered
3,79,573 2,542Deaths
In India, there are 2,96,33,105 confirmed cases including 3,79,573 deaths. The number of active cases is 8,65,432 and 2,83,88,100 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,24,773 7,652

1,41,440 8,982

56,69,179 15,176

1,14,154 1,458

Karnataka

27,77,010 5,041

1,62,303 9,859

25,81,559 14,785

33,148 115

Kerala

27,48,204 12,246

1,12,792 1,456

26,23,904 13,536

11,508 166

Tamil Nadu

23,78,298 11,805

1,25,215 11,669

22,23,015 23,207

30,068 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,20,134 5,741

75,134 4,879

17,32,948 10,567

12,052 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,03,207 270

7,221 890

16,74,072 1,104

21,914 56

West Bengal

14,68,044 3,268

20,046 1,125

14,30,949 2,068

17,049 75

Delhi

14,31,498 228

3,078 148

14,03,569 364

24,851 12

Chhattisgarh

9,88,172 609

11,717 943

9,63,113 1,544

13,342 8

Rajasthan

9,50,133 172

5,619 848

9,35,658 1,006

8,856 14

Odisha

8,59,526 3,405

44,358 3,436

8,11,780 6,799

3,388 42

Gujarat

8,21,078 352

8,884 658

8,02,187 1,006

10,007 4

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,649 224

3,610 331

7,76,424 528

8,615 27

Haryana

7,66,357 228

3,703 374

7,53,584 564

9,070 38

Bihar

7,17,949 410

4,360 412

7,04,075 813

9,514 9

Telangana

6,06,436 1,556

19,933 528

5,82,993 2,070

3,510 14

Punjab

5,89,153 628

10,802 1,111

5,62,701 1,691

15,650 48

Assam

4,66,590 3,415

41,184 475

4,21,378 2,906

4,028 34

Jharkhand

3,43,793 184

2,646 416

3,36,058 596

5,089 4

Uttarakhand

3,37,449 274

3,642 266

3,26,822 515

6,985 25

Jammu And Kashmir

3,08,726 715

12,407 1,125

2,92,114 1,830

4,205 10

Himachal Pradesh

1,99,197 321

4,050 382

1,91,737 691

3,410 12

Goa

1,63,048 327

4,175 231

1,55,926 548

2,947 10

Puducherry

1,13,192 355

4,668 279

1,06,828 629

1,696 5

Chandigarh

61,200 40

486 21

59,917 58

797 3

Manipur

61,096 785

8,744 301

51,354 476

998 8

Tripura

60,385 536

4,886 65

54,870 596

629 5

Meghalaya

42,759 450

4,430 99

37,579 542

750 7

Arunachal Pradesh

31,938 290

2,849 40

28,934 326

155 4

Nagaland

23,854 101

2,972 229

20,423 327

459 3

Ladakh

19,649 38

552 20

18,898 57

199 1

Sikkim

18,659 209

3,239 67

15,136 273

284 3

Mizoram

15,899 268

3,637 45

12,191 312

71 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,473 9

61 2

10,408 7

4

Lakshadweep

9,297 61

484 36

8,768 96

45 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,280 11

105 4

7,049 15

126

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