COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, attacking your lungs in unimaginable ways. However, doctors, researchers, and other medical experts are still learning about how it can do a great deal of damage when it comes to your blood. Here are all the warning signs and symptoms that COVID-19 is wreaking havoc in your bloodstream. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Doctors around the world have reported abnormal blood clotting in coronavirus patients, especially those who are critically ill. “The number of clotting problems I’m seeing in the ICU, all related to COVID-19, is unprecedented,” Jeffrey Laurence, MD, a hematologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, told CNN. “Blood clotting problems appear to be widespread in severe COVID. “While it is still unclear exactly how the virus results in blood clots, it could have something to do with any preexisting conditions the individual has—including heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.”
COVID patients around the world are suffering from a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. “Blood clots can form in the veins deep in the limbs, a condition called deep vein thrombosis or DVT,” explains the American Heart Association about the condition usually impacting the deep veins of the legs. “A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. If the clot travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow, the condition is called pulmonary embolism.”
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Blood clotting is dangerous mostly due to the simple fact that it can cut off the blood flow in your body. Some patients, including Broadway actor Nick Cordero, are forced to undergo amputation as a result of “thrombotic events.” One recent study published in Thrombosis Research found that 31 percent of 184 patients suffered thrombotic complications. One of the first signs you are experiencing blood clots is if your limbs or fingers start feeling any pain, numbness, or experience any swelling.
Dr. Alisa Femia, director of inpatient dermatology and a specialist in autoimmune connective tissue disease at NYU Langone, is just one of the many physicians who have reported skin manifestations—including strange rashes and discoloration—amongst coronavirus patients. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology is keeping a symptom registry in order to record, research, and hopefully be able to explain why the virus manifests itself in the skin. Dr. Femia recently noted to Time that some preliminary research implies blood-flow issues may be behind these bizarre skin conditions.
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COVID-19 patients, even those that are very young, are experiencing strokes, and experts believe it has to do with blood clotting. Even more bizarre? Many of them have no pre-existing heart-related conditions making them prone to a stroke and have shown no other coronavirus symptoms at the time the stroke occurs. “We’re seeing a startling number of young people who had a minor cough, or no recollection of viral symptoms at all, and they’re self-isolating at home like they’re supposed to—and they have a sudden stroke,” Adam Dmytriw, MD, a University of Toronto radiologist, told the New York Times.
One new study published in Lancet Respiratory Medicine found that blood clots are clogging the lungs of African American coronavirus patients. “We found that the small vessels and capillaries in the lungs were obstructed by blood clots and associated hemorrhage that significantly contributed to decompensation and death in these patients,” Richard Vander Heide, MD, head of pathology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine and head of the study, explained. It is important to note that all ten individuals involved in the study, whose bodies were examined during an autopsy, suffered underlying conditions that have been shown to worsen infection, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Some younger coronavirus patients have reported swollen, discolored lesions on their toes, a condition medical experts have dubbed “COVID toes.” Experts believe that the inflammatory condition is a result of blood clots. “It’s possible that this is a skin reaction or caused by a small clog or micro clots in the blood vessels found in the toes,” Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Humberto Choi explained in a blog post on the medical center’s website.
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“Blood clots can wreak havoc on your heart and the coronavirus weakens heart muscle, and causes dangerous arrhythmias and heart attacks due to small clots,” reports The Washington Post. If you experience any heart health issues, contact a medical professional immediately. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.