• Two Chinese doctors contracted coronavirus while treating patients
  • They recovered after more than a month but were surprised to see their skins turned dark
  • Other doctors say it might have been due to the treatment the two received

Dr. Hu Weifeng and Dr. Yi Fan, both 42 years old, tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 18 while treating patients at the Wuhan Central Hospital, says UK’s Metro. The seriously ill doctors were first brought to the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital and then transferred to Tongji Hospital's Zhongfa Xincheng branch, according to state media CCTV.

coronavirus infected chinese doctors find their skin darkened after their recovery
coronavirus infected chinese doctors find their skin darkened after their recovery H Shaw - Unsplash

Reports say that the doctors’ change in skin color may be due to a hormonal imbalance after the virus caused damage to their livers. One doctor, however, suspected that the physicians’ skins became dark because of a particular drug both received during the initial stages of their treatment.

More Than A Month On Life Support

Dr. Yi, a cardiologist, was hooked to a machine called ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, life support for 39 days. The device is similar to a heart-lung bypass machine often used in open-heart surgery. It pumps and oxygenates the blood of the patient outside his body. In an interview with state media CCTV, Dr. Yi said, “When I first gained consciousness, especially after I got to know about my condition, I felt scared. I had nightmares often.”

On the other hand, Dr. Hu, a urologist, has been bedridden for a total of 99 days. His doctor, Dr. Li Shusheng, said the urologist is still very week after going through an ECMO therapy from Feb. 7 to March 22. Dr. Hu was able to regain his ability to speak barely two weeks ago. Dr. Li said his patient’s normal skin color is expected to be back when his liver functions improve.

Mental Health Support

The cardiologist, during the interview, revealed that while he could move in his bed normally, walking independently is still a bit of a struggle for him. Dr. Yi admitted that the experience of battling the deadly COVID-19 had traumatized him to a certain degree.

He told a CCTV reporter he is still in the process of overcoming the psychological aspect of his illness, adding that colleagues would often comfort him. Dr. Yi is now in an ordinary ward and is being looked after by fellow doctors.

Dr. Hu was unable to speak to CCTV reporters because of poor health. He was shown, however, on TV shaking hands with Dr. Zhan Qingyuan of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital to express his gratitude. Dr. Zhan also treated the pair and was checking on the two before leaving for the capital city of Beijing. In an interview, Dr. Zhan said it is his responsibility to “save his comrades.”