Salt lake city-University of Utah researchers said they made an important discovery about how COVID-19 affects the blood of infected patients, potentially leading to the threat of strokes and heart attacks.
They found COVID-19 initiates changes to blood platelets, which may contribute to heart attacks, strokes and other complications.
“I’ve always been interested in platelets and as platelets changes during infection,” said Dr. Robert Campbell, associate Professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah.
Campbell was directed to changes in blood platelets in patients infected with COVID-19.
Platelets-cells that play a role in heart attacks and strokes. When a patient is infected with COVID-19, Campbell said the body has an inflammatory process affecting all body parts, including blood.
“We believe that these changes cause platelets to become more contrary too reactive,” said Campbell. “So they have to interact with each other, and when they do, they end up clogging your arteries or veins, and these clots develop that people talked about with COVID-19.”
They believe that hyperactivity can lead to dangerous and potentially lethal blood clots.
“We believe that COVID-19 changing how platelets react with each other and with other cells, which may predispose those people to develop strokes and heart attacks during COVID-19”, – said the scientist.
Campbell and his team studied 41 COVID-19 patients at the University hospital of Utah. Seventeen of these patients in the ICU, including nine who were on artificial ventilation of lungs. They compared the blood of those patients with samples taken from healthy people who were matched for age and sex.
Their report appears in the bloodThe American society of Hematology journal.
Recent studies have shown, patients with COVID-19 were much more likely to develop a stroke due to blood clots.
Researchers also believe, platelets interact with other cells fights infection and change how the cells act, making the infection even worse.
“This is an important piece of the puzzle that may platelets contribute to clotting, which is associated with COVID-19,” said Campbell.
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