Face masks used in Bengaluru private hospital bruise the skin of Covid-19 patients

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A private hospital in the city has nearly 50 Covid-19 patients complaining about the damages on their skin, with the face mask used for supplying oxygen to the patients has caused scars and sores while receiving non-invasive ventilation (NIV) during their recovery.

An anti-scar clinic has been opened by the GVG Invivo Hospital based in JP Nagar, for the NIV patients having facial soars. From the 182 Covid-19 patients at the hospital, around 86 received NIV. From the 86, 50 patients have enrolled themselves for anti-scar therapy amid the pre-launch period.

Dr Gunasekar Vuppalapti, the Chief Plastic Surgeon, CMD, GVG Invivo Hospital said, “60 per cent of the 85 patients needed NIV for more than five days.. Longer the use, deeper the sore. For patients needing plastic surgery, an hour of surgery will cost Rs 15,000.”

The plastic surgeon revealed the laser treatment charges Rs. 4,000 for each sitting, which works for around two- four centimetre of skin on the nose and forehead. He added, “Treating two centimetre of skin will cost Rs 3,000 — around Rs 1,000 per centimetre. Sitting with an interval of a week will cost Rs 20,000 in all.”

Using face mask during NIV for Covid-19 patients with sensitive skin results in results that cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a skin-condition that increases the level of pigments within.

Various hospitals have different strategies for NIV treatment

Though, there are various hospitals, like the Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, who use different strategies, for preventing the facial scars during NIV treatment. Over 200 patients received NIV treatment at the hospital but neither of them have any scars on the skin.

Dr Satyanarayana Mysore, Pulmonologist at Manipal Hospital revealed their techniques, “We employ different strategies to prevent the scars.. We use an adhesive skin cushion called deoderm, which is like an artificial skin that provides padding.”

The hospital also ensures that patients are provided with high-flow oxygen apart from NIV treatment. And, as soon as, redness or minor ulcerations on the bridge are observed, the patients are provided with a different interface or a soft gel mask.

Dr Sunil Karanth, Chairman and Consultant, Critical Care Medicine at Manipal Hospital, stated, “We have provided NIV to patients for a number of days even before Covid…. The way it is applied, used and the quality of the masks make a difference. We use it in the ward and ICU.” Dr Sunil iterated the patients at Manipal were taken care off and would have never reached the stage of plastic surgery.

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