Dangerous blood clots increasingly found in COVID-19 patients

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Missouri City councilman Jeffrey L. Boney said although he tries to stay active in the community, he started feeling sick in March.

"On the 17th of March, I started having a loss of appetite," Boney said.

That was early on in the pandemic, he said. But when things didn't improve, Boney said he knew something wasn't right, so he got tested for COVID-19.

"Two days later, before I even knew my results, I started coughing up blood," Boney said.

He contacted his doctor, who told him to go to the emergency room. Boney spent the next nine days in the hospital.

After many tests and a CT scan, Boney learned he had pneumonia and other vital organs were impacted. A second scan was done days later.

"That's when they uncovered what's called pulmonary embolism. So, I currently have a blood clot on my right lung that they've been treating since I've been discharged, particularly, before that," Boney said.

Houston Methodist pulmonologist Dr. Howard Huang said they are seeing blood clots in more serious cases.

"In a significant number of (COVID-19) patients who become severely ill or hospitalized, require intubation or critical care, there's a high incidence of thrombosis or blood clots. This has been shown in those postmortem studies where they look at people who have unfortunately died of COVID-19 and looked in their lungs and saw that there were blood clots present," said Huang.

Beyond the lungs, other organs are impacted too.

"We see kidney dysfunction, and that occurs quite a bit in patients who become severely ill and require ICU care. There's also liver dysfunction. Like I said, there has been strokes that have been observed," said Huang.

Boney is improving. He's tested negative for COVID-19 and his blood clot is dissipating, but it's the unknown if that's still a concern.

"I'm also dealing with the emotional scars and mental scars of what could happen if it came back," said Boney.

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