• Doctors getting alarmed at the increasing number of severely ill young COVID-19 patients
  • Reports say some patients in their 30s already need to be intubated
  • Even young athletes who were in the best of health almost lost their lives due to COVID-19

Many doctors on the frontlines have expressed surprise at the increasing number of relatively young people getting admitted to hospitals with severe cases of coronavirus infection. In an interview with Business Insider, a doctor said that for those who are in their 40s or 50s, they would try everything they can to help these patients survive.

coronavirus infection starting to infect many young patients
coronavirus infection starting to infect many young patients Sharon McCutcheon - Unsplash

Severely Ill Young Patients

Reports of young people getting sick, some of them even dying, from coronavirus infection are becoming a commonplace occurrence. Doctors say such is the story of a 38-year-old Ironman athlete from Minnesota who almost died from COVID-19. As of mid-April, the athlete still required to be hooked up to an oxygen tank to help him breathe.

In Manhattan, another athlete, 44-year-old marathon runner David Lat, was also hospitalized for 17 days for COVID-19. He spent six of those 17 days on a ventilator to help him breathe. Doctors say his case can be considered as a severe form of COVID-19.

The virus also nearly killed a New Jersey doctor who is only 47 years old and is considered very fit and healthy. He used to run 16 to 20 miles every week before getting admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. Hospitals report that as of April 12, coronavirus patients who are between 18 years and 44 years old accounted for approximately 11% of all admissions in New York hospitals.

Extra Pressure To Find Ways

Dr. Dixie Harris, an ICU doctor from Utah, said she flew out all the way from her home state to help with the crisis. She is now stationed at an ICU in a hospital on Long Island, where she cares for patients, many of them in their 20s. Dr. Harris said it is a bit unusual to care for a lot of sick young people in the ICU. She also said that she feels the extra pressure to look for ways on how to get them to recover. “For someone in their 40s, 50s, you want to try everything you can to get them to survive,” said Dr. Harris.

An intensive-care doctor in Newark, New Jersey, told the Business Insider that as early as March, they have young patients in their 20s and 30s on ventilator support. An ER nurse at the NYU Langone Medical Center said they had to intubate two patients who are only in their 30s.

According to Dr. Thomas Maddox, they are starting to see many younger patients coming down with severe forms of COVID-19 infections that they would have expected. Dr. Maddox is the chairman of the science and quality committee of the American College of Cardiology.