Last updated on April 20
Two doctors at the Wuhan Central Hospital Yi Fan and Hu Weifeng, who became critically ill with the CCP virus, finally recovered after over two months’ treatment. A widely circulated video shows that they now have dark skin, which shocked the nation.
Why did their faces turn black? “For critically ill patients, the fight against the virus is like killing 10,000 enemy soldiers at the expense of losing 8,000 of your own guys. Although life is saved, many organs are damaged.” Hubei Provincial Expert Group on Epidemic Prevention Song Jianxin, chief physician of the Department of Infection at Tongji Hospital, told the Health Times that dark skin is the cause of pigmentation.
Abnormal liver function easily leads to dull skin pigmentation
A doctor at the People’s Hospital of Wuhan University who has been treating patients with fevers told reporters: “When iron enters the body, it is metabolized and stored by the liver. However, if the liver is too damaged to function, the iron will flow into blood vessels causing increased amount of iron in the blood. This kind of iron-rich blood can easily cause a dark complexion. Furthermore, long-term abnormal liver function can cause metabolic abnormalities, which can easily lead to dull skin pigments. “
On March 4, the international medical journal “The Lancet” published an online review article by Wang Fusheng, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor of the Fifth Medical Center (302 Hospital) of the PLA General Hospital, titled “Liver injury in COVID-19: management and challenges” which points out that there is a certain percentage of liver dysfunction in both mild and severe patients with novel coronary pneumonia.
Gong Zuojiong, director of the Department of Infection in People ’s Hospital of Wuhan University, said in an interview with the Health Times that from the clinical observation and published literature, the main damage to patients is in their lungs, and some patients have a certain degree of the liver damage for several reasons. One is secondary liver damage, and the other is that sometimes too many drugs are used in the treatment, and to some extent, it may appear as drug-induced damage. The third is the occurrence of respiratory distress syndrome in critically ill patients, leading to a multi-organ damage including the liver, lungs, heart, kidney and other problems.
Song Jianxin told reporters that in clinical practice, severely ill patients often suffer from damage to other organs in addition to livers. The two doctors not only had darkened faces but darker skin in other parts of their bodies. Some critically ill patients not only have darkened skin but also peeling and chapped skin.
After the body recovers, skin color might return to normal
Dr. Zhan Qingyuan, director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said that the reason why the novel coronary pneumonia is difficult to control is that the virus not only attacks the lungs, but also the heart, the digestive tract, the kidneys and the blood immune system.
Can the “face change” occurred to the two doctors’ bodies be recovered? Song Jianxin believes that as long as their lives are saved, the body will recover gradually, and the damaged organs will recover gradually as well. In addition to irreversible damages, some can be gradually recovered.
“The next stage is to treat the sequelae after the cure.” The frontline medical staff of Wuhan University People’s Hospital told reporters that the liver can be repaired. After a certain treatment, it can return to normal once healed.
On March 30, Dr. Hu Weifeng was able to communicate normally; on April 3, Dr. Yi Fan was already able to stand on his own.
Follow up report: Yi Fan’s complexion is returning to normal after stopping taking polymyxin B
On the evening of April 20, a reporter from the Southern Metropolis Daily contacted Yi Fan, a doctor at Wuhan Central Hospital whose skin was darkened after two months’ treatment of the CCP virus.
Yi Fan said that he has been breathing smoothly and is now in rehabilitation and psychotherapy every day. His complexion in the video has almost returned to normal. Earlier, Yi Fan had attracted nationwide attention because of the darkening of his skin during an interview with the media. He contracted the novel coronavirus in January this year. The use of polymyxin B and other drugs made his skin darker.
The WeChat public account of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital issued a statement saying that in January of this year, Yi Fan, a cardiology and vascular surgeon in Wuhan Central Hospital, and Hu Weifeng, a urologist, were infected with the novel coronavirus at the frontline. Due to the rapid deterioration of their health conditions, the two were transferred to the ICU in Tongji Hospital on March 2nd. There were multiple organ dysfunction and serious secondary infections caused by respiratory failure. Academician Wang Chen, the director of the National Respiratory Clinical Research Center, proposed the use of ECMO. Zhan Qingyuan, the director of the Respiratory Intensive Care Department of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, joined a team of doctors to save their lives. According to media reports, on March 30, Hu Weifeng was able to communicate normally. On April 3, Yi Fan was able to stand on his own.
According to the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, polymyxin B and other drugs were used, because infection control is the key treatment to save the lives of the two doctors. In addition to damages to kidneys and other organs, polymyxin B could cause pigmentation on the head, face, neck, and limbs after continuous use of this drug. The patient’s skin color gradually returned to normal after stopping taking polymyxin B.
On April 20, Yi Fan told a reporter that he almost recovered and would be able to walk soon. His breathing is basically smooth and he does not need infusion. Every day, rehabilitation doctors come to help Yi Fan to practice walking. Yi Fan said, “I often had nightmares, and all the medical staff came to comfort me.” Yi Fan is currently undergoing psychotherapy. Yi Fan said that he would like to go to Beijing to thank the doctors and nurses who saved him.
In picture: Doctor Yin Fan’s complexion is gradually returning to normal as of April 20, 2020.