How COVID-19 Affects Veins


The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis has turned the world upside down. We entered 2020 without a warning and have been dealing with this virus as it has spread around the world. If you are not aware of what exactly COVID-19 entails, you are not alone. COVID-19 presents itself as an acute respiratory illness that displays symptoms such as high fever, lethargy, body aches, breathing difficulties, and dry cough. As you can see, a few of these symptoms directly impact our lungs. This is the information that is widely available to the public. However, COVID-19 does not impact just our lungs. Our veins are also at risk for developing issues once you have contracted COVID-19. Here is what you need to know:

Additional Symptoms of COVID-19

A variety of additional symptoms have been reported from all over the world that relate to COVID-19. These symptoms do not impact the lungs but instead other critical factors of the body. The symptoms can include heart issues, kidney damage, liver malfunction, and deep vein thrombosis. All of these symptoms have appeared to increase the mortality rate of patients who have contracted COVID-19. With many factors involved with the symptoms of COVID-19, it is no surprise that deep vein thrombosis has been out of the headlines. However, one significant case of COVID-19 has resulted in an amputation due to deep vein thrombosis. Broadway and TV star Nick Cordero contracted COVID-19 earlier this year and was immediately hospitalized. His symptoms became so severe he was placed into a medically induced coma. During his coma, Nick developed deep vein thrombosis which became so severe his leg had to be amputated. Obviously, this is an extreme case that is not typical for those who develop COVID-19, but it does let us understand how significant deep vein thrombosis can be for those with COVID-19.

How Deep Vein Thrombosis Forms

Understanding how deep vein thrombosis works can enable us to better understand how COVID-19 impacts our veins. For the unaware, deep vein thrombosis is a condition where blood clots form in our veins, usually in the deep veins in the legs. On its own, deep vein thrombosis can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, and lead to possibly fatal conditions such as a pulmonary embolism. This severe condition occurs when the blood clot breaks free from the vein and creates a sudden blockage in your lungs. Pulmonary embolisms are potentially fatal and need to be treated as soon as they are found.

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Factors Leading to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Several factors can lead to the development of deep vein thrombosis. These initial factors can include injury to your limb, surgical side effects, and prolonged periods of immobility. As you can imagine, some of these factors can occur during an extended stay at the hospital in particular the ICU. It is reported that the additional risk of developing deep vein thrombosis during a stay in the ICU can range from five to fifteen percent.

Link to COVID-19

Extended immobility and injury are not the only risk factors associated with COVID-19 and deep vein thrombosis. It is reported that COVID-19 also causes a hyper inflammatory state in those who contract the virus. This type of state can escalate the risk for deep vein thrombosis due to endothelial injury. Hospitals are reporting more severe cases of COVID-19 are occurring with frequent cardiac arrest. Several clinicians believe this may be directly related to deep vein thrombosis that was not initially considered upon check-in into the ICU. Such frequent episodes are causing more and more physicians to consider the risk of deep vein thrombosis early and often.

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ASH Classification

Some of the most knowledgeable individuals on blood clotting can be found within the American Society of Hematology. Their review of COVID-19 cases and deep vein thrombosis have allowed them to create a separate classification for these patients known as COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. Their research has shown that the occurrence rate of deep vein thrombosis has effectively doubled during the COVID-19 ongoing health crisis for patients who have been admitted into the ICU.

Moving Forward with COVID-19 and Your Veins

The sudden onset of deep vein thrombosis in individuals with COVID-19 warrant concerns for our vein health. Hospitals are now considering the use of hematology procedures for treatment such as low molecular weight heparin and more. Now it is important more than ever, especially for those at high risk for vein disease, to follow all CDC recommendations with COVID-19.

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Get Help at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center

If you are at risk for vein disease, make sure you reach out to the St. Louis Laser Vein Center. We are currently offering in-house and virtual consultations to help you with any vein issue at hand. Call today and have your free consultation scheduled with us.