Doctors warn of link between COVID-19 and strokes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Younger patients with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 are more likely to have blood clots, which can lead to strokes, according to doctors at Saint Luke’s Hospital.

People in their twenties and thirties may be putting themselves in danger by thinking it can’t happen to them.

Doctors at Saint Luke’s are concerned about this link between the virus and strokes.

There’s been evidence at the hospital that patients are avoiding going to the emergency room because of fear of the coronavirus.

Doctors say those experiencing stroke symptoms are waiting too long before seeking help.

“We haven’t seen people seeking medical care for true emergencies,” said Dr. Karin Old, a neurologist at Saint Luke’s. “We’ve had folks come in with stroke symptoms that clearly tell us they have had their stroke symptoms for a day or two days or even three days and they were reluctant to come in and reluctant to be exposed to COVID-19.”

Time is critical when it comes to treating blood clots and strokes.

Younger patients who wait before going to the emergency room can miss the window of opportunity for reversing the damaging affects of a stroke.

Dr. Old said patients can recover 100 percent from a virus-induced stroke if they are not afraid to go to the hospital as soon as they recognize something is not right

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