76% patients of mucormycosis at GMCH had steroid overuse

76% patients of mucormycosis at GMCH had steroid overuse

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16

Around 76 per cent of the patients with Covid-associated mucormycosis had taken steroids, while 86.5 per cent had diabetes and 57.6 per cent were on oxygen therapy, revealed data compiled by the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

In numbers

  • 104 Patients of mucormycosis
  • 68 Covid positive
  • 90 Patients had diabetes
  • 80 Patients given steroids
  • 60 Patients given oxygen therapy

The hospital has attended to 104 patients of mucormycosis till date. As many as 68 of them were Covid positive.

The orbit (eyeball) of only seven patients was removed, while 73 patients had undergone surgery due to the fungal infection. The fungal infection involved brain in only five patients and 41 patients had fungal infection around the rhino orbital area, mostly the eye region.

In addition to this, fungal infection had involved lungs in seven patients. The mortality was noted in 34 patients (32.6 per cent).

Surinder K Singhal of the ENT Department, GMCH, said, “The main reasons of the fungal infection were excess use of steroids and diabetes. Oxygen therapy was found in 57.6 per cent patients but cannot be causative factor for mucormycosis. We used to see 40-50 per cent mortality in mucormycosis patients during pre-Covid times. However, we were able to lower the fatality rate with proper care. Early diagnosis too saved many patients.”

A majority of the patients were from Punjab (50), followed by Chandigarh (24), Haryana (17), Uttar Pradesh (9) and Himachal Pradesh (4).

Dr Jagdish Chander, a microbiologist at the hospital, said, “There was injudicious use of steroids in the course of treatment of Covid-19 to avert cytokine storm and that too in the high doses than the prescribed one and for a prolonged duration.” 

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