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(ARDS) COVID-19 has put a huge burden on the world population in terms of health and socio-economic factors. There has been clear evidence on how COVID-19 causes damage to the lungs and creates an immune dysregulation, leading to cytokine storm and organ damage. Recent evidence of COVID-19 treatment shows the benefits of stem cell therapy as an adjuvant therapy alongside anti-viral medication and assisted ventilation. In this short article, we discuss COVID-19 respiratory issues and how stem cells can help in mitigating the COVID problem.

How Does COVID Cause Respiratory Distress?

COVID-19 can cause lung complications such as pneumonia, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), and sepsis. These complications of COVID-19, arising from hyper-inflammatory conditions, can lead to lasting respiratory distress in patients.

  • COVID-19 Pneumonia

In the case of pneumonia, the lungs become filled with fluid and suffer inflammation, leading to respiratory issues. In some cases, respiratory problems can become very severe and require hospital aid due to the requirement of ventilators. COVID-19 pneumonia tends to take hold in both the lungs as they fill with fluid, limiting their oxygen retaining and breathing ability. The symptoms are shortness of breath, cough, and wheezing. COVID-19 pneumonia is more severe than the usual pneumonia occurrence and might last for a longer period, thus damaging the lungs sufficiently.

  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

With severe COVID-19 pneumonia progression, fluid may leak from the tiny blood vessels in the lungs and eventually lead to shortness of breath and ARDS. ARDS is a lung failure condition where patients are mostly unable to breathe on their own and require assisted ventilator support for oxygen. COVID-19 ARDS patients might have long-lasting lung scarring even after COVID-19 recovery.

  • Sepsis

In an extremely severe COVID-19 case, a possible complication is a sepsis. This complication occurs when an infection spreads through the bloodstream, causing damage to other tissues and organs. In sepsis conditions, the cooperation between the lungs heart, and other organs fall apart and the body suffers organ failures.

COVID-19 Lung Damage Risk Depends on 3 Factors

There are generally three main factors that affect the lung damage risk in COVID-19:

  • Disease severity: Lung damage risk depends on the severity of COVID-19, whether the patient has mild or severe COVID-19 infection. Mild cases are not much likely to cause long-lasting lung scarring.
  • Health conditions: Pre-existing health problems or morbidities like asthma or diabetes can raise the risk of lung damage. Moreover, aged people are more susceptible to severe COVID lung damage.
  • Treatment: COVID patient recovery and long-term lung condition will depend on the treatment and management that he/she gets. Timely support for severely ill patients can minimize lung damage.

Can Stem Cell Therapy Help COVID-19 Lung Damage?

Stem cell therapy may be a potential treatment for COVID lung damage, as seen in some pre-clinical studies. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or their derivatives have shown good results to limit immune dysregulation and cytokine storm, thus protecting lungs from damage.

Some Paper References:

Treatment of severe COVID-19 with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells

Effect of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells on lung damage in severe COVID-19 patients: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial

Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome: A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized controlled trial

Stem cell therapy in COVID-19 cases has shown improvements in oxygen retention, lung tissue healing, immune system regulation, and anti-inflammation.

According to pooled data and investigations by ADVANCELLS, 60% of the treated patients (India) with mild to severe COVID-19 have shown improvements in their vital signs after the second dose of stem cell therapy. These patients have also shown better independency from oxygen support and decreased levels of D-dimer and other inflammatory markers. For more information and data, contact Advancells at info@advancells.com