Does Having COVID-19 Increase Your Chances For A Blood Clot?

As the pandemic wears on, researchers continue to learn more about COVID-19, the symptoms associated with the disease, and other serious health dangers that can potentially arise.

According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, the most common signs that you may have COVID-19 include coughing, fatigue, and fever. As these symptoms are also associated with the flu, you will need to get a COVID-19 test to confirm whether or not you have the disease. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 have also reported losing their sense of taste, smell, or both.

The severity of COVID-19 symptoms will vary widely from person to person, and certain segments of the population, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions, are at higher risk. Other symptoms associated with COVID-19 currently include shortness of breath, chills, body aches, runny nose, and chest pain.

In addition to these symptoms, more serious conditions can develop that can end up becoming life-threatening, such as pneumonia and a severe lung condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome. The formation of blood clots is also a possibility due to various factors associated with the disease.

Factors that can lead to blood clots if you have COVID-19

Under normal circumstances, blood clotting helps the body repair itself when you experience an injury. If you have COVID-19, severe inflammation may set off the same response, but in this case, the development of blood clots needs to be watched closely. "It kind of makes sense that your body would say, 'if I see an infection, I need to be ready to clot.' But when the infection is as widespread and inflammatory as COVID-19, that tendency to clot can become dangerous," says Dr. Matthew Exline at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

In addition, if you are quarantined, chances are you are not moving your body much. This lack of movement can also lead to clotting, according to Exline. Inflammation along with immobility creates the kind of conditions conducive to clotting. This circumstance was perhaps most widely publicized in the case of Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who had to have his leg amputated due to blood clots that formed during his hospitalization for the disease (via CTV News). 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, signs that you are experiencing a clot or another serious condition include facial drooping, weakness in one limb, persistent chest pain, or radiating pain, among others. Experts at the Wexner Medical Center advise calling 911 if you are experiencing any of these or other worrying symptoms. To prevent blood clots, you may want to keep moving and keep your legs elevated when seated.