COVID-19 is not a standard respiratory virus, it’s a serious threat to a number of vital organs. As medical specialists learn more about the virus and how it affects the human body, alarming complications are becoming evident including life-threatening blood clots in the lungs, heart and brain of COVID-19 patients.
Researchers have now found that in people who are severely unwell with COVID-19, the virus can affect clotting of the blood, causing it to clog the blood vessels in the lungs and stop oxygen from getting into the body. Haematologist Dr James McFadyen said blood clots in the lungs are one of the most common complications in COVID patients who require intensive care treatment.
Blood clots caused by COVID-19 can also block the blood flow to the heart, leading to heart attacks, and the brain, leading to strokes. This can result in serious long-term complications like loss of speech and movement.
“This is a new virus, in addition to the serious and potentially life-threatening consequences of acute COVID-19, we don’t know if people who recover will be left with longer term health effects,” said Dr McFadyen.
“Everyone is at risk, and therefore everyone has a social responsibly to adhere to the key public health measures like hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing masks outside the home, staying home if sick and getting tested. Without a vaccine or effective treatment this is the only way we can prevent spread, protect ourselves and the vulnerable. Ultimately, it’s a numbers game and the more cases we see, the more we will see of the serious complications caused by COVID-19.
“It is now very clear, COVID-19 is much more than just the flu. COVID-19 can be life-threatening and can also have serious long-term implications for your health.”