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Heart should be checked within a few months of Covid-19 recovery: Dr. Samin Sharma

NITN | @notintownlive | 17 Jul 2021, 12:56 am

Heart should be checked within a few months of Covid-19 recovery: Dr. Samin Sharma COVID-19

Dr. Samin K Sharma, renowned interventional cardiologist and Senior Vice-President, Operations & Quality at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, was the guest at Ek Mulakat Vishesh organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation and presented by Shree Cement earlier in July. In the course of his interaction with Ehsaas Woman of Mumbai Karishma Mehta, a lawyer and a banker by profession, Dr. Sharma spoke about the effects of COVID-19 on hearts and how one can take precaution or recover from it. IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh brings the highlights

Dr. Sharma, we would like to know something about your journey as a medical professional. 
 
I really think my journey was very simple. When I was growing up, my only goal was to go to America despite having no relatives there. So I tell all the young people that one needs to determine, and then work for it. The key is always to work towards the thought process.
 
How is your work going amid COVID-19 pandemic?  
 
Zoom has made life so simple! Anyone can give a lecture anywhere. In 2007-2008, I thought about how I could do global teaching sitting in Mount Sinai. So we started the CCC live cases www.ccclivecases.org where now every third Tuesday from eight to nine (am), we announce the case, which is done live, and tell our audience to log in.
 
We often see COVID-19 patients are suffering from cardiac problems. Can you tell us anything related to this, like what precautions one must take or would do after recovering from the virus?
 
COVID-19 patients do not suffer from the typical heart attacks as people are having healthy food and doing more exercise during this pandemic with no pollution in the air. But even after recovering from COVID-19, people used to visit doctors complaining of heart-related problems. We don't know why COVID-19 patients are developing a weak heart even after recovering because we are treating the virus at time zero. COVID-19 will affect two important things, lungs and heart. So, everyone after recovering from the virus should do an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. If the test results are satisfactory, there is nothing to be concerned about though no one can predict the long-term impact.

So one should do the tests after recovering irrespective of age?
 
Actually, young people are (also) suffering from heart-related problems after recovering from COVID-19. If something is detected in the echocardiogram, then he/she should go to the next level and get an MRI to see the condition of the heart. My advice to everyone is to do an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram a few months after recovering from the virus to check any effect on the heart due to the infection.
 
Is the damage, if any, permanent or reversible with care, medication and proper monitoring?
 
Yes, by and large, it is reversible. The effect is not permanent if medications are given. I haven't had any patient who had a heart transplant from (due to) COVID-19 though people have a lung transplant from (due to) the virus. I would say the damages are reversible, but have to be detected in time.

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