People are having a difficult time overcoming the rapid spread of corona virus and most of the people have someone in their family who has been troubled by this COVID pandemic. As soon as we hope this to end, it becomes more severe and restricts us all to our homes. We have come to know about many symptoms and side-effects of COVID but nothing of it is enough it seems. Blood clotting is one of the many issues which are coming into highlight which again is increasing the risk of death toll in patients. There are many cases which show that people suffering from COVID-19 get blood clots in their body due to which the patient becomes severe. Let us know more about this today.
Blood Clotting in COVID-19
Blood clots are actually helpful to stop the bleeding if we get injured. When an injury occurs it produces protein and makes platelets and clots which together prevent blood to overflow from body and allows it to heal itself. Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow tells more about patients who suffer from clotting issues. He exclaims that although it is good for healing an injury, in absence of it, blood clots can cause complications. During this COVID-19, patients suffer from clotting which restricts the blood flow in the blood vessels which is potentially dangerous.
Blood clotting is a leading cause of complications like heart attack and stroke in COVID patients. The fact remains such that people who have been hospitalised are in greater danger of having blood clots. Some patients however do not form blood clots instantly but have shown symptoms indicating issues related to clotting.
Why Do COVID Patients Have Blood Clotting?
The vital cause behind it is still not clear but it is associated with the equipments and ICU having majority of such cases. Both endothelial cells and platelets are involved in starting the clotting process. Blood clotting can be due to combination of reasons which have to so with ICU. Some of the reasons can be-
1. Endothelial cells have ACE2 protein which the 2nd strain of virus is can use to enter the cells. The double mutant corona virus damages the endothelial cells which are responsible for maintaining the clotting mechanism hence leading to blood clots in the body.
2. It may also be possible that instead of the cells directly being targeted it is the tissues around them which are responsible for the viral infection in your immune system.
3. It can also be possible that it could be due to increase in inflammatory molecules produced by immune system in response to corona virus which could activate clotting.
4. Patients who were hospitalised in ICU were more likely to have hyperactive platelets due to increased activation and aggregation.
Who Are At Risk of Developing Blood Clots?
These people may be at a higher risk of developing blood clots-
• Have greater level of markers- This means that people who have d-dimer levels at a higher range and are hospitalised are at more risk of severe complications. There are also some other indicators which show clotting and poor inflammation.
• Hospitalisation- Unfortunate but true, people who are hospitalised are comparatively higher risk of blood clotting.
• Have severe health issues- Those people who are suffering from a pre-existing condition which can cause blood clotting are also at major risk of complications. Some of these diseases include heart diseases, diabetes and obesity.
Complications of Blood Clotting-
As mentioned earlier blood clots in COVID patients can lead to potential damage and complications which can be life threatening. Some of those major complications are-
Stroke- Blood clots can block the blood vessels in the brain which can lead to interruption in blood flow and stroke. It can be life threatening and in many cases the chances of survival are very less. If the person has temporary clotting it can reduce the blood flow resulting in transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke.
Pulmonary Embolism- It is a condition where the blood clot blocks the blood flow when it travels through lungs. Pulmonary embolism can decrease the oxygen levels in the body and also cause damage to the lungs.
Heart Attack- Heart attack can also occur due to blockage in the heart tissue. Blood clots are potential cause leading to cases of heart attack in COVID patients as well as in general.
What Are the Precautions Against Blood Clotting?
These points can help you reduce the risk of blood clots which can help you survive COVID-
Stay Active- Regular exercise and active lifestyle would be beneficial in preventing blood clots. Sitting for long hours at a point while working or travelling could be risky so try to take breaks in between regularly.
Reduce Your Weight- It is for those who are obese and overweight. Shredding some weight could definitely help in lowering the risk of developing blood clots in the body.
Stop Smoking- Since COVID directly affects the lungs, make sure that you stop and reduce smoking as soon as possible. It can damage the lining of blood vessels otherwise which can form clots.
Be informed about the medications- Consult your doctor while taking any medications. Some medicines including birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and certain cancer drugs increase the risk of blood clots. Hence manage those pills accordingly.
Blood clotting is becoming evident in people suffering from corona virus. Especially those in the ICU have become more vulnerable to this condition. Clots can block the vessels in the body and can cause serious complications like heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolism. Double mutant corona virus escapes the immune system and damages the lungs directly which causes clots to occur in body. Blood clotting is helpful in times of injury but otherwise it can be dangerous. Hence beware of the causes which can lead you into it and follow some points which can helpful in reducing the risk of Blood clotting.
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