To determine the cause of what it terms “sudden deaths” of children in the post-Covid era, the Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s foremost medical research organization, is undertaking two ground-breaking investigations.
The ICMR’s director-general, Dr. Rajiv Bahl, is investigating fatalities among people between the ages of 18 and 45. He said to News18 on the sidelines of the WHO Global Traditional Medicine Summit (GCTM) in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, “We are looking at sudden deaths with no reasons.”
These investigations will, he said, “help us understand the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak, if any, and may help prevent other deaths.”
The ICMR defines “sudden deaths” as the unexpected death of a person who was otherwise healthy and had no known comorbidities. The study group has examined 50 autopsies at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi so far, and it plans to examine 100 more in the coming months.
When comparing the outcomes of these autopsy to those from prior years or years before the introduction of Covid, Dr. Bahl noted, “We are trying to understand the reasons or differences.”
The ICMR is attempting to determine if any physiological alterations inside human bodies may have contributed to the abrupt deaths of young individuals in the post-Covid era. According to Dr. Bahl, the research may identify correlations if it identifies specific trends, such as an increase in fatalities from abrupt heart failure, lung collapse, or other causes.
The ICMR is utilizing data from unexpected fatalities that occurred in the age range of 18 to 45 years in the previous year for another research, a case control study. It is using information from 40 centers in India that have tracked Covid patients for a year following their release. These facilities contain information on hospital discharges, fatalities, and Covid admissions.
Dr. Bahl said that “we are interviewing families to understand potential causes behind the deaths.”
Finding live people in the vicinity of the deceased is another aspect of the study’s concept. For comparisons, the case control studies also need control groups. Therefore, we are interviewing similarly profiled residents in the same neighborhood who have the same gender, age, and place of residence, he said, adding that this method is crucial for identifying risk factor associations.
Dr. Bahl said that researchers are visiting people at their homes. He said, “We are interviewing these members of the control group to learn about their dietary habits, cigarette usage, lifestyle, Covid history, immunization history, and family’s medical history.
Understanding the risk factors that resulted in mortality after acquiring Covid is the goal. “It is an epidemiological method, and there is no other way to determine why these fatalities occurred. We must establish connections,” he stated.
“We need to understand that many things have changed during COVID-19,” Dr. Bahl said. In addition to post-Covid circumstances, we made a lot of dietary and lifestyle adjustments both before and after Covid.