The novel coronavirus infection attacks the body of each patient differently with an onslaught of various complications that could be deadly if not treated. Among the complications they have seen among COVID-19 patients were neurological symptoms, including confusion and seizure, and an increase of young infected patients also developed stroke symptoms.
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Researchers found that COVID-19 infection may cause blood clotting in severely ill patients.
Unfortunately, this "weird" complication is also the deadliest as experts believe the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of creating tiny blood clots that can block arteries and even reach the brain.
COVID-19 Causes Tiny Blood Clots
According to a report by BGR, experts found out that the virus can cause blood coagulation and could create tiny blood clots that form in the lungs first--and now, medical doctors finally understand how it happens.
In a study penned by doctors from the St. James's Hospital, Irish Center for Vascular Biology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the researchers found that abnormal blood clotting is one of the causes of death of many coronavirus patients that were severely infected with the virus.
They have also found out that these tiny clots start in the lungs following the infection and that the higher the clotting, the worse the prognosis.
Most cases with worse prognosis also tend to require intensive care.
The study, which was published in the British Journal of Haematology, has already been peer-reviewed.
Reason Behind High Levels of Mortality
"Our novel findings demonstrate that COVID-19 is associated with a unique type of blood clotting disorder that is primarily focussed within the lungs and which undoubtedly contributes to the high levels of mortality being seen in patients with COVID-19," said Professor James O'Donnell, the director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI.
The disorder is known as pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy (PIC).
It is different from disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) that is observed in various other medical conditions.
The disorder might be responsible for the blood clots reaching the heart or the brain of the patients, which could then lead to heart attacks or stroke that could be deadly to those with severe complications.
PIC May Also Cause Oxygenation Issues
In addition, Professor O'Donnell said that in addition to pneumonia that affects the small air sacs within the lungs, they have also found hundreds of the tiny clots in the lungs of severely ill coronavirus patients--something they haven't seen in other respiratory infections.
The disorder could explain why "blood oxygen levels fall dramatically in severe COVID-19 infection," leading to the need for ventilator and oxygenation therapy.
As of now, the team will require further research to know whether blood-thinning medications could help high-risk patients against the formation of these tiny clots and help save their lives.
The team would also have to continue researching the complication in order to understand how the blood clots form in the lungs and find a way to develop more effective treatments for coronavirus patients.
Their study also found out that both race and ethnicity "have major effects upon thrombotic risk."
Caucasians and African-American patients are more likely to develop blood clotting disorder compared to Chinese patients.
The study says Chinese patients are four times less likely to develop them compared to Caucasian patients, while African-American patients have a significantly higher risk.