Clotting, organ damage emerge as latest COVID concerns

New COVID-19 concerns include the possibility of long-term organ damage to survivors.

COVID-19 stroke fears

In mid-April, it was brain function. Last week, there were concerns that COVID-19 may trigger diabetes in otherwise healthy people.

Now, University of Sydney infectious diseases expert Professor Robert Booy suspects the virus could cause “real damage” to the heart and lungs that could last for months or even years.

And doctors have confirmed the possibility of an increased risk of blood clotting in patients with COVID-19. That means an increased likelihood of strokes. Some doctors are reporting severe strokes afflicting even otherwise young, fit patients who contract the virus.

Cardiologist R. Todd Hurst explains why blood clots are so worrisome.

“Blood clots in the veins can travel to the lungs (which is called pulmonary embolus), a potentially life-threatening problem. Blood clots in the arterial system are even more alarming because these can lead to heart attacks, strokes and amputations.”

Thomas Oxley, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai in New York, and colleagues published a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine detailing their observations of five cases of stroke in patients younger than 50.

Oxley says “It’s the biggest story emerging” about COVID-19.

“I’m a haematologist, and this is unprecedented,” Dr Jeffrey Laurence, of Weill Cornell Medical College, told “This is not like a disease we’ve seen before.”

He says the incidence of patients with low oxygen levels but flexible lungs points to the possibility of “micro-vessel clots (in the lungs) shutting off the ability of people to bring oxygen into their blood”.

A study in the Netherlands, which followed 184 severe COVID-19 patients, found that a “remarkably high” 31 per cent had blood-clotting issues.

In February, Chinese researchers published a paper that found evidence of clotting in 71 per cent of 183 people hospitalised with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Only one per cent of survivors had clotting.

Dr Laurence says one of the biggest issues with COVID-19 is the “insidious feedback loop of inflammation” it causes.

This contributes to the long-term damage to survivors, which concerns Prof. Booy. "We’re very worried about the people who have an immune response that is exaggerated and does it best to kill the virus, but it also damages our own physiology," Prof. Booy told The Age.

“What that does is damage our own measures to protect ourselves, so the lungs are eventually scarred and reduced in capacity. That combination of the virus and our immune response to it could mean that we have damage that goes on for months and years and that’s a real worry.

"We are learning huge amounts right now. But the simple outcome is that you are damaged. It can affect your heart, your lungs and possibly your cardiovascular system, which is the blood vessel that supplies your key organs and that’s not just your lungs, but also your heart and your brain."

Lung damage leaves survivors of COVID-19 vulnerable to later lung failure, especially if they have underlying health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.

"The scarring and the damage could go on not just for months, but years, meaning that people who have survived are at increased risk of dying from further lung insults," he said.

Allen Cheng, professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Melbourne's The Alfred hospital is also concerned by the potential for damage to the heart muscle.

“It is also known that infections like influenza can trigger heart attacks and other diseases,” he said. “Whether this occurs with COVID-19 is not yet known.”

Professors Booy and Cheng stressed the need for more detailed, longer-term examination of COVID-19 before conclusions could be reached.

Are you becoming more concerned about the effects of the coronavirus with each passing week and with further research?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    5th May 2020
    what next?
    5th May 2020
    These imbeciles Must have nothing better to do.
    5th May 2020
    No I am not more concerned and I wish YLC's would stop scaremongering, I think people are worried enough.
    6th May 2020
    It would be refreshing if YLC wrote an article that said, hey - let's eat, drink and be merry, because we are all going to die of something one day!!
    Most readers already know that if they have a history of taking ANY medication for any previous disorder (irrespective of their age) then they will have a poorer long term outcome if they get anything that's going around - including the regular flu or COVID 19. Most readers know prevention is better than cure (or a lack of cure) - so they should focus on improving their immunity.
    As for being concerned about further research, yes I'm concerned because I don't think researchers are asking the right questions, so how can they come up with the right answers? It's a dead end street to expect a socialist government to tell the truth about the outbreak. But researchers don't seem to be trying to glean information about the other outbreak source - i.e. the cruise ships. FACT: Most of Australia's initial cases were passengers on cruise ships. FACT: The passengers on the cruises had been interacting freely for several weeks, they hadn't been practicing social distancing and they didn't have contact tracing apps on their phones. YET HUNDREDS OF PASSENGERS AND CREW ON THE VARIOUS CRUISES EMERGED UNSCATHED - THEY DIDN'T GET COVID IN SPITE OF BREAKING ALL THE INTERACTION RULES. Wikipedia has a good summary of how many people DIDN'T get COVID on the various ships. Think about that for a minute. No cruise ship had 100% infection rate. And some cruise ships had no outbreaks of Covid at all!
    Why did only one third of the passengers on the worst affected cruise get COVID and two thirds NOT get it? Did the passengers who got it have any connection with Wuhan? Did they eat meat or jerky from the Wuhan markets on board the cruises? Did the passengers who didn't get it take anti-malarial drugs? Did the cruises with a major outbreak load supplies at a certain port or did they have 5G on board when the others didn't?
    6th May 2020
    You might be interested to read this Aussiecarer:
    On February 3, 2020, the Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan after a passenger had tested positive for COVID-19. Ultimately, 381 passengers and crew members became sick, and 14 died. It later emerged that COVID-19 had probably spread throughout the ship before the quarantine began. The quarantine -- on the ship as in the rest of society -- was a futile attempt to control the uncontrollable, like plugging up a hole in a dam, or a thousand or a million holes, while most of the water is actually washing over the dam and flooding on top of us.

    On February 3, 2020, the same day the Diamond Princess was quarantined, the satellite company SES put out a press release advertising “the best WiFi at sea” and announcing that Princess Cruises would be using a “hybrid medium earth orbit (MEO) and geostationary (GEO) network” to become “the first cruise ships to access SES’s ground-breaking O3b mPOWER satellite-based communications system.”

    mPOWER uses beam-forming technology and frequencies from 17 to 30 GHz and SES boasts that its satellite system is part of the global 5G network. “We offer the fastest wifi on the high seas making it easier for you to stream movies, stay connected on social media and even text with friends and family on board with you!” advertises Princess Cruises. Each Princess ship has 7,000 sensors, 650 wall-mounted touchscreen devices, 1,780 WiFi access points, 4,030 digital displays in private rooms, and 75 miles of cable. The antennas on the ships that communicate with the satellites are huge globes.
    mPower was operating on the Diamond Princess at the time of the coronavirus outbreak. A photograph of the Diamond Princess on February 5, 2020 while it was quarantined in Yokohama shows the five antenna globes that it had on board.
    6th May 2020
    Here is the link:
    16th May 2020
    Oh, this is the quite heart-wrenching implication of COVID-19 and I recently read on this website a publication, revealing further drastic impacts of COVID-19 with regard to the second wave of coronavirus with even more potential. I shall keep visiting your page for more quality information.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles

    You May Like