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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Explained: Should people with Covid-19 symptoms get a CT scan?

Several Covid positive patients with mild to moderate Covid symptoms, and some with negative RT-PCR reports but Covid symptoms are coming for CT scans.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba |
Updated: May 6, 2021 9:01:29 am
An RT-PCR test detects the virus; Ct value sets a benchmark for whether a person is to be counted as positive. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

While people with positive Covid reports and Covid-like symptoms making a beeline for CT scans, The Indian Express explains why some doctors feel that such scans must be done on doctor’s advice.

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Who are the people coming for CT scans at such centres?

A leading scan centre at Jalandhar said that the demand for Covid CT scans has increased manifolds in past one month. Several Covid positive patients with mild to moderate Covid symptoms, and some with negative RT-PCR reports but Covid symptoms are coming for CT scans. Dr Navjot Singh Dahiya, National Vice President of Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “People are in panic and are playing doctor by reading things on Google and are becoming desperate when they are mild symptoms or even symptoms of common fever or flu due to change of weather.”

Who needs a CT scan?

Doctors said that Covid patients with worsening condition in home isolation or in hospital with critical condition are cases recommended for CT scan.

If a patient’s oxygen level is going down below 95 during home quarantine or his health is not improving even after a week after coming Covid positive then such patients should get their CT scan done to detect the infection level.

“If Covid patient is in home isolation are doing well then they should only monitor their oxygen level 5-6 times in a day through a pulse oximeter and if oxygen level is above 96 than he should not panic,” said renowned Radiologist Dr A Kapur of Jalandhar.

Should CT scan be avoided for Covid detection if RT-PCR is negative?

CT scan is a combination of multiple X-rays and a computer process to create a picture of the body or any part of the body and it shows much more details about the body than the regular X-ray. Experts said that even if a patient is showing mild or moderate symptoms and his report is false negative they should act wisely and go in home quarantine and must keep a tab on the oxygen level and there is no need to expose the body to such radiations of CT scan unnecessarily.

“Patients are generally recovering in 10 to 12 days and ending quarantine after doctor’s advice,” said Dr Sandeep Bhola, a medical officer and incharge of 100 bedded isolation ward (L-2 facility) Kapurthala Civil Hospital, adding that patients with RT-PCR false negative report going for CT scan can become source of infection for several who come for CT scan for other ailments at such centres.

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