“Happy hypoxia” poser behind Greater Kuching’s Covid-19 patients

By Chew Lip Song

THE  condition of some 20 per cent of Covid-19 patients admitted into the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) deteriorated soon after, as many could be suffering from “happy hypoxia” where they were unaware of being deprived of oxygen and showed up in a much worse health than they realised.

Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian who shared the statistics on his social media said the condition of one in five patients got worse after admission. This could be attributed to “silent / happy hypoxia” where patients could not pick up the symptoms at home.

He added that this could be the reason why there’s been an increase in “Brought In Dead” cases in Malaysia this year.

Doctors around the world have noticed that the conditions of many Covid-19 patients were much worse than they thought.  Many show up in hospitals two to seven days after complaining of sudden chest tightness or an inability to breathe deeply, with oxygen saturation at 50 per cent when the normal reading should be between 95 to 100 per cent.

Dr Sim also shared that the 20 to 39 age bracket form the bulk of the Covid-19 cases in the current wave of infections in Greater Kuching. The charts he shared were sourced from the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Covid-19 Response Team.

The group’s contribution was 100 per cent for Week 50 in 2020 but it has progressively shrunk to less than 40 per cent for the ninth week of this year.

Source: Dr SIm Kui Hian’s Facebook

He added that 60 per cent of those above 20 years of age were symptomatic when admitted into SGH, although globally the rate was 20 per cent.

Dr Sim also revealed that three to 15 per cent of the patients were already at Clinical Stage 4 during admission and 15 per cent to 50 per cent suffered from Stage 4 severe lung injuries.

Dr Sim also praised the team in SGH for healing Covid-19 patients and urged the public to play their part in keeping the pandemic under control.