COVID-19 causing stroke in younger patients, doctors say

Doctors in the US are reporting that COVID-19 appears to be causing sudden strokes in adults in their 30s and 40s who are not otherwise terribly ill.

COVID-19 causing stroke in younger patients, doctors say

Doctors in the US are reporting that COVID-19 appears to be causing sudden strokes in adults in their 30s and 40s who are not otherwise terribly ill.

They said patients may be unwilling to call an ambulance because they have heard hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus cases.

There's growing evidence that Covid-19 infection can cause the blood to clot in unusual ways, and stroke would be an expected consequence of that.

Dr Thomas Oxley, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Health System in New York and colleagues gave details of five people they treated.

All were under the age of 50, and all had either mild symptoms of COVID-19 infection or no symptoms at all.

"The virus seems to be causing increased clotting in the large arteries, leading to severe stroke," Dr Oxley told CNN.

"Our report shows a seven-fold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. Most of these patients have no past medical history and were at home with either mild symptoms (or in two cases, no symptoms) of COVID-19," he added.

"All tested positive. Two of them delayed calling an ambulance."

Other doctors have also reported that people are reluctant to call an ambulance or go to emergency rooms because of the pandemic.

It is not common for people so young to have strokes, especially strokes in the large vessels in the brain.

"For comparison, our service, over the previous 12 months, has treated on average 0.73 patients every two weeks under the age of 50 years with large vessel stroke," the team wrote in a letter to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine. That's fewer than two people a month.

A stroke in a large blood vessel causes severe damage if it is not removed right away. At least one patient has died, and others are in rehabilitation facilities, intensive care or in the stroke unit. Only one went home but will require intense care, Dr Oxley said.

"The average person who has a large vessel stroke is severely impaired," Dr Oxley said. "It means it a bigger clot. It includes one of the largest arteries in the brain."

Brain cells die when blood flow is stopped, and the longer it's blocked, the wider the damage in the brain. Quick treatment is vital. "The most effective treatment for large vessel stroke is clot retrieval, but this must be performed within 6 hours, and sometimes within 24 hours," Dr Oxley said.

He said his team wanted to tell people to watch themselves for symptoms of coronavirus infection and to call emergency services if they have any evidence of stroke.

"Up until now, people have been advised to only call for an ambulance with shortness of breath or high fever," he wrote.

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Speeding Porsche driver found

The 41-year-old is speaking to police, after allegedly fleeing a horror crash on a Melbourne freeway and sharing graphic images of the scene on social media.

Speeding Porsche driver found

The speeding driver of a Porsche who fled the scene of a horror crash on a Melbourne freeway where four police officers were killed has been found by police.

The 41-year-old driver is being spoken to by police and assisting Homicide Squad detectives with the investigation.

All four police officers were outside of their vehicles talking with the driver of the Porsche when they were hit from behind by a semi-trailer refrigeration truck at 5.40pm in Kew yesterday.

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Police said the driver took graphic photos of the scene and shared the images on social media, before fleeing on foot.

Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton described the man's actions as "disgusting" and confirmed he was known to police.

"He has an extensive criminal history, involving a range of different offending backgrounds," Mr Ashton said this morning.

The scene of a horror crash on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne where four police officers were killed on Wednesday night.

He was stopped by police on the Eastern Freeway, between the Chandler Highway and Burke Road exits, at 4.50pm yesterday for speeding after officers clocked the vehicle doing more than 140km/h.

The 41-year-old driver tested positive to "some type of drug" and the attending officers called for backup.

"[That] returned positive results for some type of drug in the system and that has prompted, obviously with the speed and the vehicle, with the driver testing positive, to impound the vehicle," Mr Ashton said.

Two additional police officers from Highway Patrol attended the scene as backup.

A major investigation is underway.

Two additional police officers from Highway Patrol attended the scene as backup.

One female officer and three male officers were killed on impact when the truck struck, while the driver the Porsche was unharmed.

Mr Ashton also confirmed the truck driver suffered a medical episode immediately after the crash.

"The truck itself appears to have moved from one of the traffic lanes in the freeway into the emergency lane and has travelled a short distance in the emergency lane at around about 100km/h and has then slammed into the rear of the Highway Patrol vehicle," Mr Ashton said.

The driver of the truck remains under police guard at hospital where investigators will aim to speak to him today.

Police raided the truck driver's Cranbourne home in Melbourne's outer-east last night.

The tragedy was a timely reminder of the dangerous reality of being a police officer, Mr Ashton added.

Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton gives an update on the horror crash that claimed the lives of four police officers in Melbourne.

"It was a tragic day for obviously the families of these officers and we feel very deeply for them," Mr Ashton said.

"The whole force is reeling this morning from what's occurred last night. It's an unprecedented event for us to lose so many officers in one event, in one very terrible collision on the freeway.

"And officers just doing their work, doing their job, doing a duty that is performed by officers many times a day across our state.

"And it is just a timely reminder of how tragic police work can be at times, and indeed, very unexpectedly at times."

More information is expected to be released about the identify of the police officers who died once all family members were informed.

It is the single deadliest incident in Victoria Police history.

An investigation by the homicide squad and major collision unit is now underway.

Melbourne fatal collision sends shock waves across police force

Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt paid tribute to the officers, saying the tragedy was "incredibly sad" for everyone involved.

"I think the police force is waking up feeling numb, the members, the men and women of Victoria Police challenged deeply by this," Mr Gatt told Today this morning.

"We are hurting for the families that we know are obviously shocked and in immense pain overall.

"When something like this happens in policing it does send shockwaves around the force. It is one big family and that family transcends borders across the county, across the country and around the world.

"We have had members overnight obviously involved in assisting family and delivering those horrible messages.

"It's just floored us. To lose any member, but to lose four on one occasion is incredible and this will be felt in every police station, in every watch house across the state."

Premier Daniel Andrews led tributes to the female senior constable, male senior constable, and two male constables, who he labelled "heroes".

"Tonight, somewhere in our city, four families' hearts are breaking. Our hearts are breaking with them," Mr Andrews said.

Victoria Police Minister pays tribute to officers killed on Eastern Freeway

'Shocked and immensely sad'

Mr Andrews said an investigation would determine "why — how — this could possibly have happened".

"But one thing is already clear: Though we may not yet know their names — we will always call them heroes."

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville said there were plans to fly flags half-mast at parliament.

"There are really no words that you can adequately use tonight to express what has happened. It is an unimaginable tragedy," she said.

"They are heroes. They're Victorian heroes tonight."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "My deepest sympathies go out to their families, fellow officers and friends at this terrible time."

Teams will be deployed to police stations to support officers who attended the scene and those personally impacted by the deaths.

Source : 9 News More   

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