Side effect of coronavirus: scientists have discovered the most dangerous consequence of COVID-19
Scientists around the world are studying the most dangerous side effect of COVID-19 - the formation of blood clots. Studies in the Netherlands and France indicate that thrombosis occurs in 20-30% of patients with coronavirus. Practitioners call even more alarming figures. This is stated in the video "Voices of America".
“There are many studies. If you try to summarize, then a third of seriously ill patients develop blood clots, although some studies indicate that we are talking about 50-70%, ”says Rupin Aria, professor of medicine at King`s College Hospital.
Like other complications, blood clots, often fatal, develop due to the overreaction of the immune system to coronavirus. Hematologists practicing doctors say they have not seen anything like it before.
“Typically, thrombosis is the body’s response to minor injuries, but the current reaction is off the charts. Thrombosis is observed in large and small vessels. The scale of vascular inflammation that we observe indicates that in addition to the usual blood clots, many patients form blood clots in the smallest blood vessels, especially in the lungs. We have to admit that it affects a number of organs, including the kidneys and intestines, ”says Aria.
Through blood, COVID-19 attacks the entire body. Scientists have called thrombosis one of the key factors that make the disease so dangerous.
“It’s amazing how much thrombosis we see with COVID-19: clots form in the veins of the legs and lungs, which is even more surprising, they form in the vessels of the brain of young patients, causing strokes, and also in the heart, and in the absence of primary lesions - there’s not even a common atherosclerosis plaque, ”says Robert Flomenhaft, a professor of hematology at Harvard Medical School.
Now everyone who enters the hospital with COVID-19 in the USA is trying to give blood thinners, which are usually given to stroke patients.
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“The anticoagulants we are currently using increase the risk of bleeding and therefore care must be taken. On the one hand, to protect against blood coagulation, on the other, not to cause bleeding, ”said Flomenhaft.
Doctors found that often the standard doses of such drugs simply do not work, the blood becomes so thick in patients.
“According to some studies, when using a standard dose of coagulants, nearly half of the patients develop large blood clots and potentially life-threatening blood clots. As a result, in some hospitals, doses are increased in order to try to prevent blood clots in these patients, especially in patients with severe injuries undergoing intensive care, ”said Aria.
A number of patients have a sharp increase in blood protein levels called D-dimer. Protein is formed during the breakdown of blood clots, its presence is a sign of the likelihood of a fatal outcome.
“If a patient is prone to thrombosis, if he already has a blood clot, the blood protein levels range from 0 to 200. What is surprising, in the situation with COVID-19, the range is from 50 to 100 thousand, which indicates a huge number of blood clots” Hematologist Jeffrey Lawrence said.
Studies explain why patients have been on artificial ventilation machines for weeks, because even the oxygen supplied through them hardly penetrates the blood due to blockage of the blood vessels of the lungs.
“During the autopsy, we found blood clots in blood vessels, but did not find other types of pathologies characteristic of extensive pneumonia. The clinical picture was different: less inflammation, destruction of blood vessels, but a large number of blood clots, ”says Lawrence.
Doctors believe that thrombosis explains the sudden death of patients with COVID-19, as well as a sharp deterioration in their condition. Since there is no cure for coronavirus yet, scientists are faced with the task of identifying groups of people most prone to blood clots. For example, it is known that men at the age of 40 are at risk.
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