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Topic #8: COVID Coronavirus and Chest Pain

Question: What causes chest pain in persons with COVID-19?

Answer: COVID-19 can lead to formation of painful blood clots in the lungs. This complication is a lot more common with COVID-19 than other severe viral infections.

Doctors have known since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak that the virus can attack the lungs and cause progressive difficulty breathing. However, it took some time for doctors to notice that formation of blood clots is also a complication of COVID-19. Blood clots in the lungs cause sudden chest pain that can be deadly.

  • Sudden chest pain that is worse with breathing in a person with COVID-19 may be a sign of blood clot in the lungs.
  • Clots can form in other places such as the legs or brain, causing painful leg swelling or stroke.
  • These complications have occurred in young and old patients.

If diagnosed with COVID-19, ask your doctor what can be done to reduce your chance of developing blood clots. Persons who have sudden chest pain, unexplained leg pain and swelling, or stroke symptoms should promptly seek medical care.

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