MADISON (WKOW) — A doctor in New York reported treating young patients who’ve had strokes with COVID-19.
Dr. Thomas Oxley, with Mt. Sinai in New York, said five COVID-19 patients in their 30s and 40s with no underlying conditions presented with strokes at the hospital and others with blood clots.
27 News is getting answers from Madison health experts about the risk of stroke and what they’re seeing here.
Dr. Jeff Pothof with UW Health says five patients isn’t enough to make large generalizations about stroke risks, but doctors here have seen more blood clots in COVID-19 patients.
Doctors say they think that could be the immune system working hard to fight the virus.
“The immune cells that are trying to fight the disease actually make our bodies more likely to clot and we do have doctors talking with other experts around the country, looking at research studies, trying to figure out for our very sick COVID-19 patients here in the Madison area, what is the best use of medications that could thin the blood or prevent clotting,” Pothof told 27 News. “It’s this careful balance of the risk-benefit of these kind of medicines and a disease process that isn’t completely understood yet.”
Pothof said the hospital is seeing more younger people get very sick than originally expected.
“We are seeing a higher rate of younger people contract the disease and then have very severe disease that requires prolonged ventilation and ICU,” he said. “Those numbers are higher than what we predicted from data that we had originally out of China. We’re seeing higher levels of young people get really sick from this disease.”