Bengaluru man who recovered from COVID-19 develops clots

October 16, 2020

Mahesh (name changed) went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain in mid-September and doctors realised he had developed blood clots in the right renal artery, following a COVID infection

Days after he recovered from Covid-19, a 30-year-old man had to make his way to the emergency ward at the Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield. Little did he know that he was headed for a second stint in the hospital, this time round, due to a condition he developed due to Covid-19. Mahesh (name changed) went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain in mid-September and doctors realised he had developed blood clots in the right renal artery, following a Covid infection.

“It has been shown conclusively now that Covid-19 not only causes respiratory problems, but can induce blood clots in the arteries leading to life-threatening complications and morbidity. Early recognition and timely treatment are crucial for improving outcomes,” said Dr Naveen Chandra, consultant and interventional cardiologist at the hospital. However, the causes for such developments are still not fully understood.

Doctors performed an angiogram and found blood clots in the right renal artery. He required treatment for infarction - tissue death which occurs due to insufficient blood supply to a particular area of the body. In Mahesh’s case, it was an infarction in the right kidney.Left untreated, blood clots can obstruct or slow blood flow and this can lead to stroke, heart attacks, and other conditions that could potentially be life-threatening.

Doctors extracted the clot and gave him anti-coagulants to prevent clotting. He recovered and was discharged in a week.“In a large number of patients, initiation of anticoagulation for a few weeks (during Covid-19) are as important as treating the disease itself. They are treated with injectable or oral blood thinners for a few weeks. But Mahesh developed clots despite being on these medications,” said Dr Indira Kedlaya, consultant of internal medicine at the hospital.