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Coronavirus Causes Blood Clots

  • 05 May 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, doctors around the world have noticed a raft of clotting-related disorders in Covid-19 patients, which causes benign skin lesions on the feet (Covid toe) to strokes and blood-vessel blockages.

  • Thus, Covid-19 is being seen as less of a typical respiratory disease, and more of one that involves dangerous clotting.

Key Points

  • Misconception of Only Lung Damage:
    • Initially it was considered that the vast majority of lung damage in Covid-19 patients was due to viral pneumonia.
    • But the autopsies of the Covid-19 patients shows that clumps of platelets inside blood vessels, or microthrombi, to be the reason for rapid and dramatic deterioration of condition of patients.
  • Development of Thrombi:
    • Usually these blood clots are called thrombi — that form in patients’ arterial catheters and filters used to support failing kidneys.
    • The clots impede blood flow in the lungs, which develop severe blood-oxygen deficiency, causing difficulty in breathing.
  • Pulmonary Embolism:
    • Studies have found that as many as 30% of severely ill Covid-19 patients suffered a so-called pulmonary embolism — a potentially deadly blockage in one of the arteries of the lungs.
    • Pulmonary embolism often occurs when bits of blood clots from veins deep in the legs travel to the lungs.
    • According to a study, the prevalence of pulmonary embolism was 1.3% in critically ill patients without Covid-19.
  • Detection of Blood Clots:
    • The D-dimer blood test is being used around the world to monitor clot formation in patients, including those with Covid-19, and patients are also being dosened with heparin and other anticoagulant medications.
  • History of Blood Clotting Diseases:
    • The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, caused by a novel strain of influenza, was also linked to downstream damage from clots that could end lives dramatically.
    • Viruses including HIV, dengue and Ebola are all known to make blood cells prone to clumping.
    • The pro-clotting effect may be even more pronounced in patients with the coronavirus.

Issues Involved : Blood Clottings with Covid-19

  • Lung damage: If untreated, large arterial lung clots can put overwhelming strain on the heart, causing cardiac arrest.
    • Even tiny clots in the capillaries of lung tissue may interrupt blood flow, undermining attempts to help oxygenate patients with ventilators.
  • Vital organ damage: Clots may form in other parts of the body, potentially damaging vital organs including the heart, kidneys, liver, bowel, and other tissues.
  • Mistaken of Covid-19 recurrence: Covid-19 survivors who have subsequent difficulty breathing, might mistakenly believe it’s a recurrence of coronavirus infection, when it may actually be a reactivation of the whole clotting problem.
  • Subsequent disease: Pulmonary embolism also causes pulmonary hypertension, another dangerous complication that can cause fatigue and shortness of breath.
  • Risk: Patients and doctors alike may not be aware of the risks or the potential need for treatment.

Source: IE

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