United Kingdom

Doctor shares X-rays showing difference in lungs of unvaccinated and vaccinated COVID-19 patients

A doctor has shared X-rays showing the difference between the lungs of a fully  vaccinated who contracts COViD-19 and an vaccinated person. 

Dr Ghassan Kamel, director of the Medical ICU at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital in Missouri, has been treating thousands of people ill with the disease since the pandemic exploded in March 2020., reported KSDK.

The X-ray of the unvaccinated patient's lungs are almost completely white - showing they are filled with the virus, have intense scarring and there is a lack of air entering the organs.

But the scan of the vaccinated patient's lung show plenty of air flowing through and mostly free of the virus. 

The X-ray of a vaccinated patient has a great deal of black space, showing they were able to inhale mostly amounts of oxygen (left). The unvaccinated COVID-19 patient's X-ray (right) looks almost completely white, indicating large amounts of the virus and intense scarring

Dr Ghassan Kamel (above), of St Louis, said the lungs of the unvaccinated patient likely show someone who needs intensive care such as mechanical ventilation

Coronavirus often leads to complications such as pneumonia, which occurs when the lungs fill with fluid and become inflamed.

As the air sacs fill with fluid, they are unable to take in as much oxygen, which leads to symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.

Studies have also found damage to the epithelial cells, which line respiratory passages from the nose to the lungs, of coronavirus patients.

Missouri has recently been hit with a wave of COVID-19 case, with average infections rising by 36 percent from 2,141 per day to 2,926 per day in the last two weeks, according to DailyMail.com's analysis.

Across the state, hospitalizations have risen in the past 14 days to 1,921, 41 percent up from 1,357, data from the department of health show.

Kamel told KDSK the patients he is seeing are younger than they were during the winter surge of 2020-21 and mostly unvaccinated.

'We are seeing very sick patients,' he said. 

To show the difference the vaccine can make, Kamel shared with KDSK two lung X-rays: one of vaccinated patient with COVID-19 and another of unvaccinated COVID-19 patient. 

The X-ray of the vaccinated patient shows large amount of black space, which means the person is able to inhale a great deal of air.

By comparison, the X-ray of the unvaccinated COVID-19 patient's lungs is almost completely white, which are known as lung opacities.

Lung opacities are hazy clouds of white that contrast against the darkness of the lungs, which usually indicates the lungs are full of things such as fluid, bacteria, or immune system cells.

It also means the patient is not able to intake as much oxygen as they normally would be able to with a healthy lung.

Kamel said the X-ray of the unvaccinated patient show clearly that he or she needs medication attention. 

He said by looking at an unvaccinated x-ray, a patient most likely needs assistance.

'They definitely at least would require oxygen and sometimes they would require more than just oxygen,' he told KSDK.

'They might require the ventilator or get intubated on mechanical ventilation, sedated, and basically on life support.'

By comparison if vaccinated people do get hospitalized with COVID-19, they likely don't need intensive care. 

He told KSDK that he hopes the scans help convince those who haven't received their shots yet to get vaccinated.  

'If you don't like the mask, you definitely won't like the ventilator,' Kamel said.

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