Title: Energetic and exergetic costs of COVID-19 infection on the body of a patient

Authors: Bayram Yilmaz; Sina Ercan; Seha Akduman; Mustafa Özilgen

Addresses: Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey ' Department of Thoracic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey ' Department of Pulmonology, Faculty of Medicine, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey ' Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Yeditepe University, Kayisdagi Cad., 34755, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract: Viral infections hijack metabolism of patients and start managing allocation of the cellular energy and exergy and the material reserve to the life processes to optimise their interests. Unlike most of the other viral infections, COVID-19 can cause severe pneumonia, pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis that decrease gas exchange between the alveoli and pulmonary capillaries. This results in diminished oxygenation of haemoglobin to transport oxygen between the lungs and the tissues. When the metabolic rate of the patient decreases by 33%, exergetic and energetic magnitude of the incurring damages would be 0.46 and 0.45 W/kg, respectively. In the case of 66% of decrease in the metabolic activity, the exergetic and energetic magnitude of the damage, based on the metabolic cost to an 18-year-old person, may be 0.92 and 0.90 W/kg, respectively. If a 70-year-old person should collect the same energetic and exergetic damages with that of an 18-year-old person, his/her metabolism must generate 17% more energy or exergy to compensate the incurred damage. If a person should have additional health problems, the energetic and exergetic cost of fixing the damage will probably increase.

Keywords: COVID-19; acute respiratory distress syndrome; ARDS; energy metabolism; exergy metabolism; hijacked metabolism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEX.2020.108602

International Journal of Exergy, 2020 Vol.32 No.3, pp.314 - 327

Received: 15 May 2020
Accepted: 29 May 2020

Published online: 10 Jul 2020 *

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