Sunil Gavali, 58, is one recent case treated at Andheri’s Holy Family Hospital. He came to the emergency ward with severe abdominal pain and had been vaccinated with both doses of Covishield. Scan showed multiple clots in the main artery to the intestine.
Vascular surgeon Dr Aniruddha Bhuiyan said clot had led to intestinal gangrene, which could turn fatal. The surgeon dissolved the clot, avoiding a surgery. “It was my tenth case in the past 8-9 months where Covid and intestinal clot have presented together,” he said. “Stomach pain was their only complaint,” he said, adding Gavali later tested positive for Covid.
Studies have shown around 16-30% of Covid-19 patients have gastrointestinal symptoms and have minimal to no signs of respiratory problems. Patients with intestinal clots can come with acute mesenteric ischemia, a rare abdominal emergency associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Dr Bhuiyan said if gangrene is not tackled in 24hours, chances of survival drop to 50%.
Gastrointestinal surgeon Dr Hemant Patil has diagnosed five cases of intestinal gangrene, of which one succumbed to Covid complications. “They all came with acute abdominal pain and were later detected with Covid,” he said.