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COVID-19 linked to cardiac issues

Doctors are seeing increased overlap in coronavirus and blood clotting leading to heart attacks.

CLEVELAND — A trip to the hospital could be needed if you have coronavirus symptoms like a fever, shortness of breath, and a cough. Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor, an Interventional Cardiologist at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute says there is overlap with signs of a heart attack.

“People can have chest pains with both conditions. People can have shortness of breath with both conditions,” says Dr. Shishehbor.

Cardiologists think COVID-19 is putting coronavirus patients at a higher risk for heart issues.

“We’re learning more and more that COVID-19 can actually increase the likelihood of blood clots in the body,” says Dr. Shishehbor.

That’s likely what happened to Broadway star Nick Cordero. He thought he had the flu, and later learned he has the coronavirus. Cordero recently had to have his right leg amputated because of blood clotting. Dr. Shishehbor is not one of his physicians, but from the information he’s heard about that specific case says Cordero’s case is concerning.

“In his situation, he was so sick that he was on a heart lung bypass machine,” says Dr. Shishehbor.

As Cordero’s wife prays for his full recovery, Dr. Shishehbor tells 3News the more patients are diagnosed, the more doctors are learning how coronavirus impacts blood clotting in small arteries.

“Affecting let’s say the brain, the kidney or the heart as we discussed earlier or it can affect the large veins and arteries in the body causing a pulmonary embolism or causing a blood clot in the leg,” says Dr. Shishehbor.

Dr. Shishehbor says 10-15% of coronavirus patients present with cardiac symptoms and don’t have a fever or cough. He says if you’re concerned about heart health OR the coronavirus, you need to contact your doctor.

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