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Some COVID-19 patients have a higher risk of bleeding

Written by James Kingsland on February 4, 2021 — Fact checked by Hilary Guite, FFPH, MRCGP

Excessive blood clotting is a recognized feature of severe COVID-19. But a new study suggests that some hospitalized patients may also be vulnerable to bleeding, which is associated with an increased risk of death.

After an injury, clotting prevents dangerous loss of blood. Blood clots, or “thrombi,” can also block blood vessels, however, with potentially fatal consequences.

Normally, our blood maintains a delicate balance between its tendency to form clots and its tendency to break them down.

In particular, the body does this by continually adjusting the activity of a protein in the blood called plasminogen, which promotes the breakup of blood clots, or “thrombolysis.”


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