COVID-19 Now Causing Clots In Intestine Leading To Gangrene

New Delhi: Reports are now coming in of COVID-19 patients having intestinal clots and gangrene. Nearly a dozen cases have been treated by physicians and surgeons across hospitals in Mumbai. They caution that complaints of unexplained stomach pain should be investigated, Times of India (TOI) reported.

Studies have shown that around 16-30 per cent of COVID-19 patients also have gastrointestinal symptoms and have minimal to no signs. Patients with intestinal clots can come with acute mesenteric ischemia, a rare abdominal emergency associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, the report added.

The report cited the case of a patient named Sunil Gavali who was treated at Holy Spirit Hospital. Doctors detected a Covid-induced clot in the intestine of the 58-year-old had come to the emergency ward with severe abdominal pain after a meal. The man, an OT staffer at the same hospital, was vaccinated with both doses of Covishield, and there were no usual Covid red flags. When Gavali’s pain didn’t subside with medications, doctors did a CT scan which showed multiple clots in the main artery supplying blood to the intestine, called mesenteric superior.

Vascular surgeon Dr Aniruddha Bhuiyan was quoted as saying there was no time to spare as the clot had led to intestinal gangrene, which if not treated immediately, could become fatal. The surgeon dissolved the clot and cleared it, reversing the gangrene and avoiding a surgery of the intestine that could have been debilitating. “It was my tenth case in the past 8-9 months where Covid and intestinal clot have presented together,” he was quoted as saying, adding that in several cases, patients didn’t come with the typical respiratory signs. “Stomach pain was their only complaint,” he said, adding that Gavali had subsequently tested positive for COVID.

Other cases:

Laproscopic and gastrointestinal surgeon Dr Hemant Patil, who consults with Fortis and Jupiter Hospitals, has diagnosed five cases of intestinal gangrene, of which one succumbed due to complications of Covid and two needed surgeries to eliminate the gangrene, TOI reported.

Surgeon Dr Jiten Chowdhry is currently treated two patients in their 50s of which one is a diabetic, the report added.

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