After several months of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be familiar with how the virus can affect the body, particularly the lungs. Even though some people who test positive for the coronavirus have minimal or manageable symptoms, others have relied on ventilators for weeks to help them survive. Other information and evidence from clinical data is emerging that shows the lungs are not the only organs negatively impacted by this virus. In some cases, the heart may be significantly affected as well.
Evidence from overseas COVID-19 cases
Research conducted in China back in February found that individuals with pre-existing heart conditions were at greater risk of dying from the coronavirus. Correlating with this, the Chinese Center for Disease Control reported these individuals have a death rate four times greater than the average population. Another study coming from Italy showed that patients with heart disease who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 had twice the risk of death compared to individuals with healthy hearts contracting the disease. These individuals also had a greater risk of incurring septic shock and blood clots.
In addition, a recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital provided significant evidence of the elevated COVID-19 fatality risk in connection with underlying heart conditions of patients. The study found patients with pre-existing heart conditions at double the risk of death when contracting COVID-19 compared to those without such pre-existing conditions.
Injury to the heart from the coronavirus
Penn Medicine explains that when heart muscle cells are damaged, creatine kinase and troponin leak out of the heart into the blood. These are important cardiac enzymes, and when these enzyme levels are high in blood tests, it is a sign of heart trouble and potential heart attack. In addition, the elevated presence of these enzymes can indicate a COVID-19 patient is suffering complications from the infection related to the heart.
Blood clots and COVID-19
Evidence shows the coronavirus may cause a significant increase in blood clots within the body. In some cases, patients with COVID-19 are experiencing strokes in addition to micro-clots in the heart and lungs, as well as clots in small blood vessels. Penn Medicine also reports some studies coming out of Europe state between 20% to 30% of the most seriously affected COVID-19 patients experiencing blood clots.
Myocarditis and COVID-19
Dangerous heart inflammation, called myocarditis, can result from a coronavirus infection. This condition prevents the heart from operating effectively, causing issues like arrhythmias and heart failure. Arrhythmias associated with the coronavirus infection account for approximately 10% to 20% of patients.
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Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
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