Since the Mid-March, India is fighting with an infectious disease known as COVID-19. It is a new kind of disease and our medical experts are working on the cure – COVAXIN. Therefore, there is only one method to determine what causes illness and death. It’s doing an autopsy.
Autopsies from the patients who died from COVID-19 have shown a drastic increase in the number of blood clots which affect major and minor blood vessels as well as ‘almost every organ’ in the human body. Blod clotting is experienced at the early stages of the pandemic in lines and various large blood vessels by the clinical experts but an autopsy shows a sort of an extension to it.
Rapkiewcz, the chairman of pathology at NYU Langone Medical center, said that “this is dramatic, though we might have expected it in the lungs. We found out in almost every organ that we looked at in our Autopsy study.”
COVID-19, a disease caused by a coronavirus, which was known to affect the upper respiratory system and causes cardiacal issues. Many patients severely affected by the virus see a rapid heartbeat and increase in the ventilation of blood clots and some may even go into cardiac arrest.
Now, the researchers are founding the existence of megakaryocytes – bone marrow cells that usually are not found outside of bone marrow cells and lung, But in the autopsy of Covid-19 patients they are found in heart, kidney, liver and other organs. Notably in the heart, Megakaryocytes are producing something called platelets which may be the main reason that creates blood clots. The most striking in terms of the damage done to the human body are both lungs are symmetrically damaged with the damage to the alveoli (the tiny air sacs of the lungs). A double-lined membrane surrounding the lungs- The pleurae, showed very little inflammatory changes.
Researchers also saw an occlusion of multiple pulmonary arteries, usually in the periphery. The blood clots are more in the periphery as compare to larger branches in the human body, which means the clots are thrombotic rather than embolic.
[thrombotic clots – only develops in the blood vessels where there is damage, in this case, lungs. And, embolic clots – forms elsewhere, such as leg, travel through the body and then lodged in the blood vessels of the lung]
For example, occlusion of arteries in fingers or necrosis in back, so in the skin at the back. Pulmonary embolism is not the major cause of illness but the inflammation of blood vessels and change in the clotting system. This causes the occlusion in pulmonary arteries and increases the pressure of its circulation and then leads to an insufficiency of the heart to pump blood through the body properly and create clots.
The warning signs of blood clots in COVID-19 patients are:-
- Swelling or pain in legs
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Difficulty in speaking
- Sudden difficulty moving limb/side of the body
Patients have also reported a loss of neurological impairments, including reduced ability to smell, altered mental status, shock, seizures, and even delirium. In the early studies of lockdown, it was shown that 22 percent of the 113 patients had experienced neurological issues ranging from excessive sleepiness to coma conditions, grouped together as disorders of consciousness.
So far, it’s not clear that the virus causes the blood clots to form or it is the immune response to the virus. But researchers are hitting on the immune response, that inflammatory mechanism leads through thrombosis. Right after the patients are being admitted to the hospital, they receive an anticoagulant at a prophylactic level to prevent blood clotting. But they only covered deep arteries of the pelvis, blood vessels of the pelvis and upper legs. There is still no treatment to prevent thrombosis in the pulmonary arteries.
The researchers themselves are not even sure how the virus goes through the body and what sequence of changes caused by the virus. It’s not completely solved. When and How will the cure be created!! Will this new issue affect the cure!