COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the new Coronavirus. Coronavirus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets generated from an infected person. This may be through coughing, sneezing, or speaking.
Coronavirus may activate the production of antibodies flowing through the blood, causing clots in infected persons. Blood clotting normally helps cease bleeding when you are injured. This occurs when a certain part of your blood turns to a semi-solid state to prevent blood loss. However, when blood clots form deep in the veins, they hinder blood flow in your blood vessels.
How Coronavirus Causes Blood Clots?
Blood clots may cause health problems ranging from moderate to life-threatening. People infected with COVID-19 may develop abnormal clotting. In response to coronavirus infection, your body’s immune system may trigger a hyperactive inflammatory response. Inflammation raises clotting factors in the blood.
Coronavirus could invade and damage endothelial cells in the blood vessels. This may trigger the release of proteins that activate blood clotting.
COVID-19 patients have a higher risk of developing blood clots. Below are factors that may increase your risk of developing blood clots:
- Old age
- Carrying excess weight
- Oral medications that increase blood clot risks
- Having a blood clot disorder
- Heart failure
- A family history of DVT
- Long periods of inactivity, i.e. sitting for long periods of time
Complications Caused by Blood Clots
Blood clots may form in different blood vessels in your body. A blood clot can break away, migrating through the blood to the heart, lungs, brain, or other parts of the body. Excessive blood clotting in COVID-19 patients may cause several complications, including:
A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks blood vessels in or around your brain. This may interrupt temporarily reduce blood flow leading to a stroke.
- Heart damage
A blood clot may block an artery supplying blood and oxygen to your heart. This may lead to cardiac issues or a heart attack
- Kidney damage
Infected people with COVID-19 may develop kidney damage despite not having kidney problems before. Blood clots may block blood vessels in the kidney, hindering their ability to function.
- Pulmonary embolism
This occurs when a blood clot lodges in the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. This blocks the flow of blood and may decrease oxygen levels damaging the lung tissues.
- Deep vein thrombosis
DVT occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein in the body, like in an arm or leg. If untreated, deep vein thrombosis may lead to amputation, pulmonary embolism, or death.
How to Reduce Your Risk for Blood Clots?
To prevent COVID-19 related blood clots, you should consider avoiding contracting the coronavirus disease. Below are ways you can avoid contracting the highly contagious virus:
- Clean your hands frequently using soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitizer
- Practice physical distancing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible
- Maintain a safe distance from people who are sick
Seek emergency COVID-19 care from our ER in Houston if you experience the following coronavirus symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Chest pain
- Loss of speech
Below are ways to reduce your risk for blood clots:
- Shedding excess weight
Being obese increases your risk of developing blood clots.
- Stay active
Regular exercise as well as moving around improves blood circulation in your body, minimizing your risk for blood clots.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking may damage the lining of your blood vessels giving room for the development of blood clots.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes, stockings, and socks to improve blood flow
- Drink enough water to prevent dehydration
Treatment Options for Blood Clots
Blood clot treatment depends on your overall health and the location of the clot. Treating blood clots involve shrinking the clot and preventing new clots from developing. Our Houston emergency room will examine your blood clot and recommend the perfect treatment for you:
- Compression stockings
These are stockings that fit tight at the foot but loose further up the leg. They are designed to apply gentle pressure on your legs to enable blood flow back up towards the heart
- Anticoagulant medications
Anticoagulants are drugs used to prevent blood clots from growing bigger as well as new clots from developing
- Thrombolytic therapy
Thrombolytics are drugs delivered directly to the area of the clot to help dissolve the clot
- Vena cava filters
These are filters inserted in the veins through a surgical procedure to prevent blood clots from flowing through the veins
Are you from around Texas and may have potentially been exposed to a Coronavirus patient? Visit Memorial Heights ER for a COVID-19 test in Houston TX