COVID-19’s Deadliest Weapon: Blood Clots

COVID-19’s Deadliest Weapon: Blood Clots

It is generally believed that nothing should exceed its somewhat quantity, even blessings. Blessings when exceed the need, become affliction.

The natural process of blood clotting in response to an injury for sure is a blessing. However, when a blood clot forms within a blood vessel, it can restrict blood flow. Known as a thrombus, it can lead to severe medical emergencies.

If a thrombus breaks free and travels to another part of the body, doctors call it an embolus. If an embolus reaches the lungs, brain, or heart, the ensuing embolism can become life-threatening.

Since the early days of pandemic in China, doctors have been reporting that COVID-19 causes blood clots. Latest studies have made experts think that thrombi and emboli are directly linked to the growing number of deaths caused by the novel COVID19 pandemic.

Dr. J. Mocco, along with his colleagues published  a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine describing five patients in their 30s and 40s who did not have the typical risk factors, but did have the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Also Read: Italy Prefer Home Treatment To ICUs in Battling COVID-19

“We had a young woman in her early 30s who came in with a profound stroke, the kind of stroke that leaves someone permanently paralyzed and possibly unable to survive,” says Dr. J. Mocco, a professor of neurosurgery and director of the cerebrovascular center at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

According to him, her stroke was caused by a blood clot that was restricting blood flow to the right side of her brain. The young woman had none of the usual risk factors for stroke. But she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID -19.

And so did several other young, otherwise healthy people who had been admitted for major strokes. So Mocco and other doctors in the hospital system began to compare notes.

He further explains “Speaking with the ICU doctors and the pulmonary doctors, they were seeing clots in the lungs, speaking with the renal doctors and the dialysis doctors, they were seeing clots in the renal arteries causing kidney injury.”

Similarly in France, Radiology has also published a research letter written by a team from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France. The group reports that 23 out of 100 patients in the hospital with severe COVID-19 had signs of pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot that has traveled to the lung.

Lungs, as we already know, are affected by this pandemic, and cause shortness of breath. Now considering this clotting in lungs, even a layman can imagine how lethal it may be. However, till now, cases with clotting in heart and brain are far low as compared to that of in lungs.

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