First Case of COVID-19 Triggering Recurrent Clots in Arm

WEDNESDAY, May 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Researchers have reported the first case of COVID-19 causing dangerous and recurring blood clots in a patient’s arm.

The report offers new insight into how damage from inflammation caused by COVID-19 may persist and how best to treat recurrent clots, researchers at Rutgers University said.

There have been reports of lower limb blood clots in patients after COVID-19, but this is the first known case in which COVID-19 has triggered a recurrent blood clot in the upper arm.

The patient was an active 85-year-old man who had a previous diagnosis of upper limb blood clots, according to the study recently published online in the journal. Viruses.

“The patient presented to his primary care physician with complaints of swelling in his left arm and was sent to hospital for further management where he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his arm and a asymptomatic infection with COVID-19, “said study co-lead Payal Parikh, assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.

“Although his oxygen level was not reduced, he was hospitalized for the management of the deep vein blood clot in the upper limb. Often, blood clots are preceded by chronic inflammatory conditions exacerbated by immobility, and rarely occur in patients who are otherwise healthy and active to begin with, ”Parikh noted in a press release from Rutgers.

Most deep vein blood clots occur in the legs. Only about 10% of blood clots occur in the arms, and of those cases, only 9% recur, the study authors noted.

“This is concerning because in 30% of these patients, the blood clot can travel to the lungs and possibly be fatal,” Parikh said. “Other disabling complications include persistent swelling, pain and fatigue in the arms.”

This case study shows that healthcare providers should consider testing for deep vein thrombosis and COVID-19 in patients with unexplained swelling, and that people who test positive for COVID-19 should see a doctor. doctor if their oxygen level decreases, their shortness of breath. and any unexplained swelling, Parikh advised.

“If you have ever been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis or have a chronic medical condition that predisposes you to blood clots, you have a higher risk of a deep vein thrombus recurrence as part of an infection. COVID-19 and so you need to be vigilant. ”Parikh said.

More information

The American Society of Hematology has more on blood clots.

SOURCE: Rutgers University, press release, May 15, 2021

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