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DPAG is among the departments receiving funding from the University's research respond fund to undertake COVID-19 research. As part of this effort, the Swietach lab has been studying oxygen transport in the blood of COVID-19 patients.

© DPAG

The first results of this study are now published in the British Journal of Haematology and could pave the way for new guidelines for treating the virus.

In the early days of the pandemic, clinicians were puzzled by the dangerously low levels of oxygen measured in those COVID-19 patients who have apparently normal lung mechanics. In response to this finding, a myriad of speculations have emerged, ostensibly implicating a problem with red blood cells (RBCs), the blood-borne carriers of oxygen. Indeed, inadequate oxygen transport by RBCs would manifest as hypoxia even with normal lung function, but critically, these patients would not necessarily benefit from supplemental oxygen on a ventilator.

Read the full article (DPAG website)

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