COVID-19 and Lower Extremity Complications
Over the past year the CDC and other health care agencies have been diligently working to learn more about the short-term and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19. As the virus continues to infect thousands worldwide, we are learning that there are many ways it can affect someone’s health that go beyond the respiratory system. Even people who are not hospitalized and who have mild illness can experience persistent or late symptoms. Increased risks to the heart and brain as well as other organ systems have been reported and warrant active investigation and updates as new data appears.
During the peak of the pandemic researchers noted a possible connection between COVID-19 and lower extremity arterial thrombosis. Observations by physicians at New York City's Montefiore’s Medical Center had been reporting an increase in patients testing positive for lower extremity arterial thrombosis on CT angiography. Frequently those patients had accompanying symptoms of respiratory distress, cough and fever. Reports noted that arterial thromboses associate with COVID-19 infections had significant consequences and that death or limb amputation was more common in COVID-19 patients.
Awareness of lower extremity arterial thrombosis as a possible complication of
COVID-19 infection is likely related to a combination of factors and an important consideration for all providers who take care of these patients. We have and continue to provide lower extremity circulatory monitoring as part of our clinical evaluation with a heightened emphasis for our COVID-19 patients.