‘It’s not just a flu’: B.C. man with COVID-19 still suffering from blood clots in his lungs

Click to play video 'St. Paul’s Hospital raises red flags about COVID-19 and blood clots' St. Paul’s Hospital raises red flags about COVID-19 and blood clots
St. Paul's Hospital says knowing the symptoms of blood clots as a result of COVID-19 can be the difference between life and death. Linda Aylesworth reports – Nov 23, 2020

Jordan Hoey was a healthy and active 29-year-old man when he was diagnosed in May with COVID-19.

He said for the first few days he felt tired, achy and sore but then he had a fever that lasted for about 10 days.

“And that wasn’t the end, unfortunately,” he told Global News Monday.

Read more: Severe COVID-19 patients have ‘unprecedented’ blood clots. Here’s what doctors know

A few days after his fever subsided, Hoey said he started coughing up blood and decided to go to the ER.

“It was real scary, when my mask started turning red on the inside I knew it was time to get checked out.”

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Turns out, Hoey had multiple pulmonary embolisms, which are blood clots in the lungs.

“I was feeling real, real sharp chest pain. It felt like someone was stabbing me. It was very difficult to breathe normally for a while,” he said.

While COVID-19 was initially believed to be a respiratory virus, there is more evidence that it causes other serious ailments, including blood clots, which can be fatal if not treated.

Click to play video 'Signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis' Signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis
Signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis – Oct 8, 2019

Dr. Anna Rahmani, co-director of the Thrombosis Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, said little is known about why COVID-19 causes blood clots.

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“With specific to the blood clots, we are noticing an increasing number of blood clots in the lungs, also known as pulmonary embolism. We are noticing blood clots in the legs, which is known as deep vein thrombosis, so those are the two main areas we’re seeing blood clots.”

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Rahmani added they have also seen blood clots in the heart and in the brain.

Further research still needs to be done.

Rahmani said they have noticed a reluctance in people to seek medical attention due to the strain the pandemic is putting on the health care system, but she said it is very important that if anyone thinks they might have a blood clot, they should seek medical attention.

Read more: Strokes, ‘lumpy’ lungs: what doctors know about unusual ways coronavirus attacks your body

Signs of a blood clot in the leg include pain, swelling and redness in the leg. Rahmani said it can feel like a muscle ache or a charley horse that won’t go away.

Signs of a blood clot in the lung include shortness of breath, increasing chest pain like a stabbing pain, coughing and bloody cough, dizzy spells or fainting spells.

The Thrombosis Clinic is holding a free Zoom event on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and anyone can join. The link is on their website.

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“Clots can attack anyone. Anyone of any age, any gender and any race,” Rahmani said.

“Blood clots that are untreated are deadly.”

Click to play video 'Understanding the signs and symptoms of blood clots before they lead to stroke' Understanding the signs and symptoms of blood clots before they lead to stroke
Understanding the signs and symptoms of blood clots before they lead to stroke – Mar 7, 2019

Hoey wants everyone to get the message that COVID-19 is a terrible disease.

He is now on blood thinners and said

said he still doesn’t feel 100 per cent, he can’t exercise yet and he gets very tired in the middle of the day.

“Be safe, wear your mask. Listen to Dr. Henry,” he added.

“I want people to take this a lot more seriously. I know everyone is getting pretty tired of COVID but it’s a real thing and it’s not just a flu, that’s for sure.”

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-with files from Linda Aylesworth