Dr Yap Eng Soo (Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology) explained that it is assumed that Covid-19 damages the lining of the blood vessels and also increases blood clotting protein levels, thus leading to the formation of blood clots. Even without Covid-19, the risk of blood clots is higher for those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. According to Dr Yap, these patients should comply with instructions on taking their medications, not just to reduce the risk of blood clots should they contract Covid-19, but also to prevent general complications from a worsening of their chronic conditions as a result of non-compliance to medication.
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Dr Yap mentioned that patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who are assessed to be at high risk for developing blood clots (e.g. reduced mobility, active cancer) or Covid-19 patients who are severely ill and admitted to intensive care would be started on preventive blood thinners. However, Covid-19 patients with underlying diabetes and hypertension who are not hospitalised, such as those with mild symptoms at community care facilities, do not need to start blood thinning medications.