Could Covid-19 Cause Stroke?
It is thought that the Covid-19 virus, which has new symptoms or effects, can increase the risk of Covid-19 cause stroke by triggering the formation of blood clots in the vein.
Blood clots in an artery and vein have different consequences. However, both are worrisome as they can lead to life-threatening problems. Blood clots that form in the veins can travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening problem. Blood clots in the arterial system are even more worrisome, as they can lead to heart attacks and strokes, which can leave permanent scars as a result.
It has been observed that COVID-19 increases the formation of blood clots in both arteries and veins. Due to the novel nature of the disease, significant results were obtained, although all studies were small and observational.
A study conducted in the Netherlands, involving 184 patients, showed that 31% of patients with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit developed blood clots despite anticoagulation treatments. Another small study conducted in China showed that 25% of COVID-19 patients developed venous thromboembolism.
One of the more worrying cases here is that the usual anticoagulant treatments do not work for some patients. The other is that Covid-19 positive patients in the young age group, such as their 30s, have been reported to experience a stroke at a level seen in the older patient group.
More information and studies are needed to understand to what extent the relationship between COVID-19 and a blood clotting disorder is real and what mechanism it has, how to prevent it, and what treatment it requires.
Based on current information and studies, it would be more correct to think that COVID-19 could increase the risk of stroke and be aware of it.
When a stroke is detected and treated very quickly, the likelihood of recovery without a scar increases significantly. Therefore, it is very important to know the symptoms of stroke and to act quickly. These symptoms may include one or more of the following: sudden weakness, numbness on one side of the body, impaired speech or vision, sudden headache for no reason, confusion, coordination, and balance problems.
In case of such symptoms in yourself or a relative, a healthcare institution or an ambulance should be called immediately. Timing is very important in stroke treatment. For effective treatment, treatment should be initiated within the first 3 hours when symptoms occur.
If you suspect someone is having a stroke, you can follow these steps.
By applying FAST steps derived from the words Face, Arms, Speech, and Time in English, the stroke is determined and action is taken.
F (Face): Ask the person to smile and check for misalignment.
An (Arms): Ask the person to raise 2 arms together. Check if one arm is falling off.
S (Speech): Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence you said. Check if he can say the sentence exactly or if he is confused.
T (Time): If you have any of these situations, call 112 without wasting time.
You may be afraid to go to hospitals due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, in emergencies such as stroke and when time is important, you should get help from the healthcare professionals immediately.