Every day, the medical community is learning something new about the novel coronavirus. Although COVID-19 is typically considered a lung infection, scientists have found that COVID-19 causes blood clots that may result in pulmonary embolisms or ischemic brain strokes, according to Healthline.com.
Researchers found that a stroke can happen to any patient no matter their age, even in people with few or no symptoms. Some COVID-19 patients as young as 30 are having strokes regardless of the severity of their COVID-19 related symptoms.
Why It’s Happening
In March, physicians at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital began noticing the unusual numbers of stroke patients with COVID-19. They hypothesized that COVID-19 was affecting the lining of blood vessels throughout the body, leading to clots that could travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
They also noticed an increase in large vessel strokes, which can happen when a large blood clot interrupts the blood flow in one of the brain’s large arteries. This also could occur suddenly and in any age group. In an effort to prevent or reduce the risk for ischemic strokes, the physicians at Mount Sinai implemented a plan to give anticoagulants to patients with COVID-19.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Stroke
It is important to recognize the symptoms of stroke, which include:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Facial drooping
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or dizziness
- Visual disturbances
If you experience the signs of stroke, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. With strokes, time lost is brain lost. The sooner you get treatment or intervention to restore blood flow to the affected area of the brain, the less damage to the tissue of the brain and the better the outcome. Every known treatment of stroke is more effective the earlier it begins.
Finally, as scientists learn more about COVID-19 and its effects on the body, we must remain vigilant about following the CDC’s guidelines in order prevent its spread.