Researchers in China reported coagulation disorders in Covid-19 patients in February but their frequency has since become clearer. Doctors are looking at blood clots or coagulation as one of the possible reasons for lung damage.
COVID-19: Coronavirus may cause fatal blood clots, thereby harming organs from brain to toes, a Bloomberg report indicates. Doctors have raised concerns about recent blood clotting disorders, which are now one of the ‘most important things’ to have recently emerged in the world’s fight against COVID-19. At times, these clots are not always life-threatening and can also exist as one of the clinical conditions of the Covid-19. Clots affect infected people in range from the formation of clots in one’s toes to blockages of blood vessels and subsequent strokes and infarctions. Notably, increasing the risk of blood clotting is not uncommon for infections. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, caused by a novel strain of influenza that killed about 50 million people worldwide, was also related to downstream clot destruction that could drastically end lives.
Viruses like HIV, dengue, and Ebola are all known to cause clumping-prone blood cells. In patients with coronavirus the pro-clotting effect can be even more pronounced. The clots which block blood flow in the lungs are more dangerous, causing difficulty breathing.
Researchers in China reported coagulation disorders in Covid-19 patients in February but their frequency has since become clearer. Doctors are looking at blood clots or coagulation as one of the possible reasons for lung damage. However, they still attribute majority of damage to viral pneumonia.
Dr. Anthony Fauci who heads the US’ National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and also at a key position in president Donald Trump’s Covid-19 response team has said that autopsies of patients who have died recently are revealing some unexpected information. In an interview with CNN last week, he said that presence of thrombi or clumps of blood as a possible reason behind the rapid and dramatic deterioration of the patients.
Separate studies from France and the Netherlands found that as many as 30 per cent of seriously ill Covid-19 patients had a so-called pulmonary embolism — a potentially deadly blockage in one of the lung arteries. Sometimes these arise as pieces of blood clots in veins deep in the legs and migrating to the lungs.
Doctors are having a tough time treating the patients with the highly infectious Coronavirus that has infected more than 2 million people across the world.