WASHINGTON: After nearly three weeks in an intensive care unit in Los Angeles, doctors treating 41-year-old Broadway actor Nick Cordero for Covid-19 were forced to amputate his right leg.

The flow of blood had been impeded by a blood clot: yet another dangerous complication of the disease that has been bubbling up in frontline reports from China, Europe and the United States. To be sure, so-called “thrombotic events” occur for a variety of reasons among intensive care patients, but the rates among Covid-19 patients are far higher than would be otherwise expected.

“I have had 40-year-olds in my ICU who have clots in their fingers that look like they’ll lose the finger, but there’s no other reason to lose the finger than the virus,” said Shari Brosnahan, a critical care doctor at NYU Langone.

One of these patients is suffering from a lack of blood flow to both feet and both hands, and she predicts an amputation may be necessary, or the blood vessels may get so damaged that an extremity could drop off by itself. Blood clots aren’t just dangerous for our limbs, but can make their way to the lungs, heart or brain, where they may cause lethal pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks, and strokes.

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