AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Since health professionals are seeing COVID-19 patients developing serious blood clotting issues, doctors are working to prevent the issue early on.
Cardiologists at Texas Tech (department of internal medicine) in Lubbock say the blood clotting issue has been the most unusual symptom they’ve seen in COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic.
“People seem to clot aggressively which can cause clots in the veins in the legs or even the veins in the lungs and the arteries that supply blood flow to the lungs. That’s a particularly big problem and can be a really catastrophic event,” said Dr. Scott Shurmur, cardiologist and chair of the TTUHSC Dept of Internal Medicine in Lubbock.
Texas Tech cardiologists have now been starting to thin the blood of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms and health problems in hopes to prevent the aggressive blood clotting that can occur.
“Thinning the blood of individuals who are affected, appears to be the sweet spot, but we still have much to learn in that regard,” said Dr. Shurmur.
Dr. Shurmur says they caught this condition about a month into the pandemic and have found those who’ve suffered from severe COVID-19 symptoms have yet to fully recover from the blood clotting.
“I think the real surprise has been the clotting issue and our continued lack of really sophisticated knowledge as to why it occurs, and how to best address it and how to prevent complications once we see it. I think that one has been somewhat difficult to crack,” said Dr. Shurmur.
“Anything I’ve read so far is that there’s like a 30 some percent increase in patients that are in the ICU. But they’re not exactly sure why the clotting happens, just that they’re a higher risk of it. They’re not positive yet, they’re still doing a lot of studies on the immune system and whether that increase in immune reactivity is what causes the blood clots or if it’s related to other symptoms of COVID or having the virus itself, compared to just the overactive immune response,” said Kari Lopez, professional tutor for Medical Laboratory Technology program at Amarillo College.
Health professionals say the reason for this is still unclear, but it seems the medications Texas Tech cardiologists have been prescribing to their patients, have been helping with the clotting.