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COVID increases risk of blood clots, stroke

COVID increases risk of blood clots, stroke

Thrombosis Canada is warning Canadians that it is more critical now than ever before to learn the signs and symptoms of thrombosis, or blood clots. With new COVID-19 cases growing, there is an increased risk of some patients developing blood clots in the veins that cause leg clots (called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) and lung clots (called pulmonary embolism, or PE).
“COVID-19 is the ‘perfect storm for thrombosis’, so it is critical that all Canadians have the knowledge to recognize signs and are empowered to seek immediate medical attention,” said Dr. James Douketis, President, Thrombosis Canada, and Director of Vascular Medicine, Staff Physician in Vascular Medicine and General Internal Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. “Although evidence is growing that patients with severe cases of COVID-19 are at greater risk of thrombosis, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Ongoing research will improve patient management.”
In an effort to improve public awareness about blood clots to save lives, Thrombosis Canada encourages Canadians to review its educational materials for consumers, healthcare professionals and medical facilities. One resource, based on the ‘C-L-O-T-S’ mnemonic, contains the most common warning signs of blood clots: Chest pain, Lightheadedness, Out of breath, leg Tenderness and leg Swelling.
“If someone has some of these critical signs, then it is important to see a doctor or go to the emergency department,” said Dr. Deborah Siegal, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa. “We hope that ‘C-L-O-T-S’ will help people recognize that they could be experiencing a blood clot so that they will seek medical attention.”
In Canada, both Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) – collectively known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) – are serious medical conditions and are potentially life threatening. Thrombosis is a major public health problem, affecting about 100,000 Canadians and causing 10,000 deaths each year. Blood clots are the underlying cause of the top three cardiovascular killers in Canada, including heart attack, stroke and VTE. Annually, VTE causes more deaths in Canada than breast cancer, HIV and motor vehicle accidents combined.

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