One month ago when the country went into lockdown to prepare for the first wave of coronavirus cases, many doctors felt confident they knew what they were dealing with. Based on early reports, covid-19 appeared to be a standard variety respiratory virus, albeit a contagious and lethal one with no vaccine and no treatment. They’ve since seen how covid-19 attacks not only the lungs, but also the kidneys, heart, intestines, liver and brain.
Lewis Kaplan, a University of Pennsylvania physician and head of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, said every year doctors treat people with clotting complications, from those with cancer to victims of severe trauma, “and they don’t clot like this.”
“The problem we are having is that while we understand that there is a clot, we don’t yet understand why there is a clot,” Kaplan said. “We don’t know. And therefore, we are scared.” [...]
Although there was no consensus on the biology of why this was happening and what could be done about it, many came to believe the clots might be responsible for a significant share of U.S. deaths from covid-19 — possibly explaining why so many people are dying at home.