Doctors are learning new ways that COVID-19 can affect the body and blood vessels with deadly consequences.
A Chicago family mourning the loss of their daughter is also asking about the possible connection.
Brittany Poole, 32, tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized in late March.
Poole, a cook at UIC Hospital, was released a week later and was recovering at home. But on April 14, Poole suddenly died after walking up the basement steps.
“It was very devastating a shock to all of us,” her father Reginald Williams said.
Williams said Poole collapsed on the kitchen floor and her left leg was severely swollen.
Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngoze Ezike said there have been other cases.
“We are seeing people with acute heart attacks and strokes,” she said. “As I’m going through the literature, I’m seeing how this virus affects the blood vessels and promoting clots.”
Doctors across the U.S. report seeing a growing number of patients with this life-threatening side effect of COVID-19.
Dr. John Puskas is a heart surgeon at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in New York.
“One of the things we’re seeing is thrombus clot forming in various parts of the body,” he said. “Clots in the legs or pulmonary emboli go to the lungs cause stroke and heart attack.”
Wednesday, 57-year-old River Grove firefighter Robert “David” Reisinger died from a stroke, after testing positive for COVID-19.
Medical experts said low doses of blood thinners isn’t enough and suggest a higher prophylactic dose in the ICU.
It is medication Williams says his daughter wasn’t given.
“No one is giving the necessary medications to make sure that blood clots don’t set up,” he said. “It’s a necessity. I think a lot of lives would have been spared if this would have been taken care of beforehand.”
Doctors have also said when they draw blood from COVID patients it clots in the tubes, in catheters and IV lines.
They have also noticed patients develop strange rashes and swollen wounds on their fingers and toes.