Experts explain how tiny blood clots in the lungs and other major organs could be the reason why people with severe COVID-19 have a hard time breathing.
TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 coronavirus appears to promote blood clotting throughout the body, which might help explain why the germ is so much more deadly than other members of its viral family, experts say.
Some people severely ill with COVID-19 develop blood clots in their lungs and other major organs, doctors have observed.
Doctors suspect these small blood clots are one reason why COVID-19 patients struggle for breath, said Dr. Hooman Poor, a pulmonary and critical care doctor with Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City.
"We see not just the possibility of blood clots in the lungs," Poor said. In COVID-19 patients who require dialysis because of kidney failure, "their catheters are clotting off every second."
These tiny blood clots could also be responsible for one of the unique symptoms of COVID-19: a sudden loss of smell, said Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, a professor of infectious diseases with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It also might explain why patients who seem to be doing well suddenly crash.