APR 22, 2020 11:40 AM PDT

COVID-19 Connected to an Increase Occurrence of Blood Clots

WRITTEN BY: Lawrence Renna

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is synonymous with respiratory failure; however, cardiologists now believe that COVID-19 is also putting patients at a higher risk for cardiovascular problems. Specifically, the disease is being linked to the formation of blood clots in the body. Many COVID-19-positive patients are showing elevated levels of D-dimer, which might indicate a clotting issue. The number of blood clotting issues that nurses and doctors are encountering with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 is unprecedented. This is making the already challenging patient care even more complicated, when inserted intravenous lines continually clot.

A study out of Wuhan, China, who looked at 81 patients with severe cases of COVID-19, found that 25% of those patients showed venous thromboembolism, a condition in which blood clots occur in the deep veins typically in the extremities. The clots can travel through the circulatory system and lodge in the lungs etc. In a study from the Netherlands, that looked at 184 intensive care patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, had the following conclusions:

“The 31% incidence of thrombotic complications in ICU patients with COVID-19 infections is remarkably high. Our findings reinforce the recommendation to strictly apply pharmacological thrombosis prophylaxis in all COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU, and are strongly suggestive of increasing the prophylaxis towards high-prophylactic doses, even in the absence of randomized evidence.” 

To that effect, some doctors are administering blood thinners to patients who are admitted with COVID-19 to prevent blood clots. Giving relatively low doses of blood thinners to patients may help prevent blood clotting, but for some patients, the low dosage is not sufficient. Giving larger doses of blood thinners is effective; however, it is also potentially dangerous in a bleeding scenario, leading to excessive blood loss. 

Nonetheless, there is still much unknown about the connection between COVID-19, and issues with abnormal blood clotting, and the treatment of COVID-19 patients with blood thinners. Doctors at Harvard have proposed that an extensive study on the effects of blood thinners on COVID-19 patients be conducted. When treating issues with blood clotting, it is vital first to understand what is causing this unprecedented blood clotting issue.

 

 

Sources: wkyc, CNNThrombosis ResearchJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, World Thrombosis Day

About the Author
  • Hello! I am a scientist currently living in Southern California, although I am originally from the east coast. I received my B.S. in Chemistry from Northeastern University in 2012, and my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I also had a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, Irvine. I have written 25+ peer-reviewed articles, several patents, and one book chapter. I am a reviewer for scientific manuscripts, and a freelance editor and writer. Outside of science, I enjoy spending time with my family, training Jiu-Jitsu, and baking sourdough bread. I am happy to be writing for LabRoots.
You May Also Like
MAY 20, 2020
Cardiology
Hearts Beat Differently to Music
MAY 20, 2020
Hearts Beat Differently to Music
Does some music relax you, does other music excite you? There is a physiological response to music, and your heart may b ...
JUN 01, 2020
Cardiology
Most Americans Do Not Adhere to All Recommended Healthy Behaviors
JUN 01, 2020
Most Americans Do Not Adhere to All Recommended Healthy Behaviors
Leading public health institutions, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Dise ...
JUL 14, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Antiplatelet Drug Shows Promise for Heart Attack Treatment
JUL 14, 2020
Antiplatelet Drug Shows Promise for Heart Attack Treatment
A common and often dangerous side-effect of antiplatelet medications is an increase in bleeding. As such, researchers at ...
AUG 01, 2020
Cardiology
A Breakthrough in Using Human Cells to 3D Print a Heart Pump
AUG 01, 2020
A Breakthrough in Using Human Cells to 3D Print a Heart Pump
This study has also demonstrated that there is a way to print heart muscle cells that causes them to organize and work i ...
AUG 18, 2020
Cardiology
A Key Juncture Between Diabetes and Heart Repair
AUG 18, 2020
A Key Juncture Between Diabetes and Heart Repair
Patients with diabetes are often at increased cardiovascular risk. Recent research points to a possible new target for t ...
SEP 16, 2020
Neuroscience
Blood Lipid Levels Predict Depression and Anxiety
SEP 16, 2020
Blood Lipid Levels Predict Depression and Anxiety
While people often experience anxiety and depression together, psychiatrists classify them as different disorders. And n ...
Loading Comments...