Surgeon: Post-COVID lungs ‘look worse’ than any awful smokers’ lungs

(WHDH) — A trauma surgeon says X-rays from her COVID-19 patients often come back with scarring and that they “look worse than any type of terrible smoker’s lung.”

Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall, an assistant professor of surgery with Texas Tech University, recently tweeted, “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but ‘post-Covid’ lungs look worse than ANY type of terrible smoker’s lungs we’ve ever seen.”

“All the survivors and the people who have tested positive this is, it’s going to be a problem,” Bankhead-Kendall told KTVT-TV.

Bankhead-Kendall has treated thousands of symptomatic and asymptotic COVID-19 patients since March, when the pandemic started to rage across the country.

People with severe symptoms always show a severe chest X-ray, Bankhead-Kendall told the news outlet. People who are asymptotic show severe X-rays about 70 to 80 percent of the time.

“There are still people who say ‘I’m fine I don’t have any issues’ and you pull up their chest X-ray and they absolutely have a bad chest X-ray,” Bankhead-Kendall said.

At this time, Bankhead-Kendall believes it’s too early to know if the lung scarring will heal.

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