COVID-19 is a highly contagious, extremely dangerous respiratory disease. While everyone needs to take care to protect their health and well-being, some people are at higher risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that immunocompromised people must take additional precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19.
Last month, The Lancet Oncology published the preliminary results of a study that indicated that mesothelioma patients are at an especially high risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. While not an unexpected result, it is nonetheless alarming. Here, our mesothelioma attorneys discuss the findings in The Lancet Oncology study.
Researchers Hypothesized That Mesothelioma Patients Would Be Vulnerable
The study was published on June 12th, to which more than two dozen doctors, medical professionals, and public health experts contributed. The purpose of the research was to investigate the COVID-19 risk among people who have been diagnosed with thoracic cancers, including with mesothelioma. Based on what is already known about COVID-19, researchers hypothesized that these patients would be especially susceptible to developing serious complications.
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Results: Mesothelioma/Thoracic Cancer Face Extreme COVID-19 Mortality Rate
The researchers examined 200 people who had thoracic cancer and contracted COVID-19. The patients were spread across eight countries, including Italy, Spain, and the United States. Unfortunately, many developed major coronavirus-related complications. Generally, these complications were either pneumonia and/or severe respiratory distress syndrome—both of which have the potential to be life-threatening for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Here are the preliminary findings:
- 76 percent of thoracic cancer patients who contracted COVID-19 were hospitalized; and
- 33 percent of thoracic cancer patients who contracted COVID-19 passed away.
For reference, all patients studied who had been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma required hospitalization after contracting COVID-19. Overall, the rates of hospitalization and fatality were far above what has been observed in the general population. Even when adjusting for other risk factors (such as age), thoracic cancer patients and mesothelioma patients are at a much higher risk.
A Preliminary Finding—but Extreme Care Is Necessary
It is important to emphasize that these findings are preliminary and that the size of the dataset was relatively modest. There is still plenty to learn about COVID-19, especially about how it affects cancer patients and other vulnerable people. Still, at this point, there is now little doubt that people diagnosed with mesothelioma are at an extreme risk of developing severe, life-threatening complications if they are exposed to the COVID-19 virus. All immunocompromised people should take the highest level of safety precautions to protect themselves from the risk of exposure.
Contact Our Mesothelioma Attorneys for Reliable Legal Guidance
At Richmond Vona, LLC, our top-rated mesothelioma lawyers are aggressive, client focused advocates for New York workers and their families. We will help you navigate the legal claims process and maximize your financial support. To schedule your free consultation, please contact us today. Our law firm represents clients throughout Western New York, including in Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, Medina, and Lyndonville.