Heart Complications of COVID-19
COVID-19 infections can affect multiple systems in your body. You know that it affects your respiratory and immune systems. That is what causes the symptoms most people experience, such as coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. But did you know that the same infection also affects your cardiovascular system? For reference, your cardiovascular system consists of your heart and blood vessels. Its main job is to supply blood throughout your body. Viral infections like the coronavirus can make it hard for the system to function. These are some of the heart complications people with COVID-19 or who’ve recovered experience.
Why This Happens
COVID-19 infections cause inflammation throughout the body. When it comes to your cardiovascular system, this infection causes the blood vessels to inflame. Inflammation of the blood vessels can lead to blood complications, such as blood clots and even damage to your blood vessels. As a result, your heart is unable to function. People with pre-existing heart complications or other health comorbidities are at risk of experiencing one of these conditions because of their infection.
Cardiac arrhythmia is one of the different heart complications people with active COVID-19 infections and those who’ve recovered may experience. The word “cardiac arrhythmia” means irregular heartbeat. For some people, their beats per minute may be too slow. On the other hand, other people may have faster beats per minute. Research suggests that cardiac arrhythmias are more likely to happen in people with comorbidities or health conditions that put them at risk without a COVID-19 infection.
Heart failure is a heart complication that happens when your body is unable to pump enough blood. The most common cause of heart failure is a dysfunction of one of the chambers of the heart. Healthcare providers classify heart failure by the location of their dysfunction. That is to say, which chamber isn’t functioning. Unmanaged heart failure can lead to other heart complications like arrhythmia and even sudden cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest is a severe and sometimes fatal heart complication some people experience. People go into cardiac arrest when their heart suddenly stops working and functioning. Their hearts no longer pump blood and oxygen throughout their body. As a result of oxygen and blood loss, people in cardiac arrest can lose consciousness and, in some instances, stop breathing. People who experience cardiac arrest need immediate medical intervention. Without treatment, their condition becomes fatal.