SAN ANTONIO – UT Health San Antonio pediatricians are seeing the type of complications of COVID-19 that normally would put older patients at risk, develop in teens.
Dr. Ted Wu, pediatric care specialist at UT Health San Antonio, says he’s been surprised by the complicated cases that are now being seen locally.
“Older teens coming in with severe clotting in their lungs that were very frightening to definitely the families and to the patients as well,” he said.
Furthering the mystery of these tough cases, he said some of these patients do not have co-morbidities, like obesity or diabetes. In fact, some are in prime physical condition with no health complications prior to contracting the virus.
In some cases, Dr. Wu says they come very close to dying.
“We had a very active teenager in football, and he had gotten a blood clot in his lungs and he was very close. We were really quite worried about him, but he made it, thankfully, he made it,” said Dr. Wu.
Some have not been as lucky. Although Dr. Wu does not have numbers of deaths in these younger patients, he has experienced the loss of a young patient. That’s why he is a proponent of mask mandates for all children.
“Those patients all require oxygen, require oxygen delivery, and then they need anticoagulation or blood thinning to wait for the body to absorb that clot, or keep the clot for from getting even larger,” he explained of the intensive care these teens must receive.
The other complication doctors are seeing is called neuropathy, where the child has no outward symptoms other than seeming very confused. Dr. Wu says the only diagnosis that can be found is COVID-19.