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Covid-19 and Blood Clots

For some people, the first sign of infection may be a stroke

In the months since the world first learned of this new type of coronavirus, doctors have been finding more and more ways it can impact the body, and blood clots seem to be a common thread behind some of them. Because blood is everywhere in the body, those clots have been causing problems everywhere, too, including the brain.

“One of the concerns we have is that there are some patients that may be asymptomatic, they don’t know, they don’t have the typical Covid-19 symptoms and the first presentation is actually in a stroke presentation,” said Dr. Jaime Imitola from UConn Health.

He said, at first, his team was surprised to find out these patients were Covid-positive.

Dr. Steven Wolf from Saint Francis Hospital said he’s found clots of all types in Covid-19 patients’ lungs.

“There were strokes before Covid, and so now we’re looking at what came through and looking back and seeing those patients and seeing which patients were Covid positive, negative,” said Dr. Wolf.

He said the clots vary in size, from big, to microclots.

Dr. Imitola said his team is looking closely at stroke patients, especially because the clots are happening in both veins and arteries.

“That is very striking and actually very worrisome because not only do you have the typical what we call arterial stroke but also you have the venular stroke that also happens in many patients so you have to be a very astute clinician to pick up these presentations,” he said.

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