COVID-19 autopsy reports from the Ga East Municipal Hospital and 37 Military hospitals in Accra have been released to provide pathological evidence for better understanding and improved management for COVID-19 in Ghana.
The report by 10 medical personnel concluded that damage to the lungs was a key feature of deaths caused by the virus in the country.
“A management approach that recognizes early-onset ARDS/DAD [Diffuse Alveolar Damage/Acute Respiratory Disorder], and aggressively treat or prevent further damage to the lung may improve the survival of patients,” the report published in the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine said.
Twenty deceased persons between 20 years and 79 years who tested for COVID-19 before or after death were presented for the study.
Almost all of them had co-morbid conditions.
Thirteen of the patients were 55-years or older and 65 percent of the patients had Type II diabetes or hypertension.
There was an equal proportion of males and females for the study.
“Most of these patients presented with respiratory symptoms of varying severity with decreased saturation on intranasal oxygen (INO2) in association with other constitutional symptoms such as fever, headache, malaise, generalized weakness and collapse,” the report indicated.
One patient was described as “out of the ordinary” because of an initial presentation of tonic-clonic seizures and bleeding from the vagina.
She later developed respiratory distress.
The report explained that the outcome of COVID-19 testing is dependent on the sample type and accuracy of sampling amongst other factors.
Despite these findings, the report indicates that “more autopsies are required to fully understand the pathogenesis of this disease in Ghanaians.
Ghana has had 80,253 cases of the virus and 577 deaths.
The country currently has 6,658 active cases of infection, according to the latest update from the Ghana Health Service.