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LSU pathologists find evidence that blood clots play key role in COVID-19 deaths

2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 May 28, 2020 6:09 AM May 28, 2020 in News
Source: ABC News
LSU Health New Orleans Photo: LSU Health New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - A group of Louisiana State University scientists who study diseases recently discovered that blood clots appear to play a key role in fatalities caused by novel coronavirus-complications. 

According to ABC News, the LSU Health New Orleans pathologists performed a series of autopsies on ten African Americans from 44 to 78 years of age who died from COVID-19 in New Orleans.

This study is believed to be the first autopsy series on African Americans whose cause of death was attributed to COVID-19,

The pathologists discovered significant blood clotting in small blood vessels of the lungs, as well as damage to the blood vessels. The small blood clots prevented the lungs from exchanging gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide. 

The team published its findings in a medical journal called The Lancet, saying, "We identify key pathological states, including thrombotic and microangiopathic pathology in the lungs, that contributed to death in patients with severe COVID-19 and decompensation in this demographic. Management of these patients should include treatment to target these pathological mechanisms." 

The small vessel clotting is a new discovery that appears to be specific to COVID-19, according to the study.

"Our study presents a large series of autopsies within a specific demographic experiencing the highest rate of adverse outcomes within the United States," said Dr. Sharon Fox, who acted as a co-author of the study.

Many of deceased patients who were studied had a history of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. 

In all cases, the patients had experienced sudden respiratory decompensation or collapse at home approximately three to seven days after developing a mild cough and fever.

The new findings come after some U.S. states released mortality data based on race and ethnicity that revealed COVID-19 as proving fatal to African Americans at a disproportionately high rate.

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