By now, Filipinos are relatively more familiar with the symptoms and risks factors of COVID-19. Fever, dry cough, and loss of smell and taste have become tell-tale signs for many to self-quarantine or seek medical assistance. There are, however, possible associated effects and risk factors of the disease that are not yet as well understood and which deserve more investigation. A case in point is detailed below.
A 54-year old male was rushed to the hospital due to the sudden onset of right-sided weakness and the inability to talk. There were no headaches, vomiting, loss of consciousness or seizure-like episodes. He did have, however, a history of heart failure from rheumatic heart disease since 2019. While the patient survived his stroke, he succumbed to complications of COVID-19 associated with neurological damage from blood clots and inflammation.
Stroke, otherwise known as cerebrovascular disease, is the second leading cause of death in the Philippines today, and ranks 5th among those with the greatest burden of disease. While several familiar risk factors are linked to strokes, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, smoking, excessive alcohol use, and old age, conditions that cause inflammation like viral infections, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can also play a role.
It was only a few weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic that doctors in China, France, Italy and the United States began noticing that a hypercoagulable state or an abnormal increased tendency towards blood clotting in some COVID-19 patients could increase their risk of ischemic stroke. In this 28th edition of the “STOP COVID DEATHS: VIRTUAL GRAND ROUNDS” webinar series, “Stroke and COVID-19”, Dr. Clare Angeli Enriquez, Vascular Neurology Fellow at the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Department of Neurosciences will discuss findings related to the body-wide increase in blood clot formation associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organs, including the brain.
Dr. Enriquez will be joined in this discussion by Dean Madeleine Grace Sosa of the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute and Dr. Jose Leonard Pascual, an associate professor at the UP College of Medicine. As done before, it will be held virtually on October 30, 2020, Friday, at 12 noon.
Registration slots are limited, so sign up now at: bit.ly/StopCOVIDDeathsWebinar28 to join the discussion.