By Johanna Younghans / U-M Health
Frankel Cardiovascular Center specialists at Michigan Medicine know all too well about the worry and constant discussions swirling around about COVID-19 and the heart.
But the biggest discussion points related to the COVID-19 pandemic today? Nicole Bhave, M.D., a cardiologist and echocardiographer, says although the situation has evolved over time “the diverse spectrum of ways COVID can affect the heart; not only during the acute illness, but also during the recovery period,” remains a hot topic.
And Geoffrey Barnes, M.D., M.Sc., a cardiologist and vascular medicine expert, agrees, saying blood clots have also been a top concern, with patients often calling with questions about it.
“Am I going to get a blood clot if I get COVID or if I take the COVID vaccine? If do have a blood clot, what am I supposed to do to treat it or what do I do to prevent it? If I take blood thinners for one reason is it safe to take the vaccine or what’s it going to mean for me if I get COVID?” says Barnes. “Those are a lot of the questions I tend to hear from my patients, and [questions] that my colleagues and I are discussing.”
In a recent Facebook live stream, posted above, both Barnes and Bhave address what to know about the virus’s effects on the heart and blood vessels and what they want current heart patients to be aware of in terms of the virus and the COVID-19 vaccines.
Click the question below you’re interested in learning more about to jump to that section in the video above:
- The biggest topics of discussion in the cardiovascular community right now related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Blood clots and COVID: How significant is the risk of blood clots for people with COVID-19 infection?
- Why might someone who gets COVID be at risk for developing blood clots?
- Should people who develop COVID, but are well enough to be at home, do anything in particular to prevent blood clots?
- What should people who have previously had a blood clot before or are taking blood thinners know if they develop COVID?
- Should you be concerned about the reports of blood clots related to the COVID vaccines, including the AstraZeneca vaccine? Is it ok for people who take blood thinners to get the COVID vaccine?
- Is it known yet about the long-term effects of COVID on the heart? Does having a COVID infection damage your heart?
- Is there any relationship between COVID and heart attacks?
- What about between COVID and heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats? What about heart valve disease?
- Are there any cardiovascular conditions that would make you recommend against a COVID vaccine? Do any of the vaccines affect the heart or vessels?
- There has been a lot of discussion in the medical community about heart imaging related to COVID. Who should have heart testing during or after COVID infection? What kind(s) of imaging are useful?
- How has COVID manifested in patients with heart disease and kidney disease, and why are they at the highest risk for severe COVID?
- What is the opinion on the switching to more reliance on telemedicine? How has that been done at Michigan Medicine?
- At the beginning of the pandemic people were delaying care for emergencies. Is that still an issue today?
- What are the health effects of different pandemic routines, such as weight gain in the setting of a more sedentary lifestyle?
- What is ECMO and why is there news about it being used to help some people with a difficult case of COVID?
- As clinician-scientists, what do you want people to know about COVID prevention, vaccination and treatment? What’s your bottom line advice to patients who want to know “what should I be doing?”