Young, otherwise healthy people are suffering massive strokes due to undiagnosed COVID. But they won’t seek care because they don’t want to catch…COVID.

Here’s what we can do to save lives and brain.

Here’s a link to the NEJM case series.

Here’s our music video designed to raise awareness in young people of the signs and symptoms of stroke.

Here’s ALL our COVID-19 coverage.

Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Z. I want you to share this video right now because you could save a life. And this is why.

We are seeing strokes in young people that are caused theoretically by COVID-19. So young people, and there was recently a case study in the New England Journal of Medicine, five cases, young people without a lot of risk factors presenting with stroke who delayed coming in even though they were having symptoms because they were afraid of getting COVID.

Turns out they already had COVID. And it’s been established now, more and more we’re seeing, that COVID-19, the coronavirus that causes it, is actually putting people at risk for blood clots, a significant minority of people.

And the theory is that it’s causing damage to the lining of the blood vessels, the endothelial cells that exposes the underlying chemicals that actually can trigger blood clotting like von Willebrand’s factor and things like that. And if you actually do blood tests on these patients, the ones that actually do poorly have a higher correlation of having something called a D-dimer that’s elevated.

That’s a sign of very bad clotting throughout the body. And so we know that this virus can do that. Now, what we’re seeing in young people is they’re presenting with these really big strokes in big blood vessels that are feeding the brain. These can be catastrophic if you don’t act quickly because what can you do? You can give blood clot-busting drugs. Interventional radiology can go in and can actually remove the clot and put in stents and coils and different things like that. So time is brain.

Ideally, within six hours of having symptoms you’re there having an intervention. But what’s happening?

People are scared to go in because they don’t wanna get COVID because we’ve instilled so much fear in people right now and this can be catastrophic loss of severe disability and life.

All right, now, what are the quick acronym to remember what are the signs? And look, I don’t care how old you are. It’s young people who ignore these signs.

Okay, remember the acronym BEFAST. So B is if your balance is suddenly off. E is your eyes, if you’re having blurry vision or changes in your vision. F is if you have facial droop. So part of your face is drooping and usually other people notice this quicker than you do. A is arm weakness. So weakness in one particular side of your body. S is your speech. So slurred speech, changes in your speech. You’re drooling, different things like that. And the T in that acronym is time to call 911. It’s not time to fool around. It’s not time to be afraid of COVID. So in these cases, again, they test them and they had COVID-19, maybe weren’t having a lot of symptoms otherwise but presenting with stroke. And in the hospital, more and more were thinking we need to start treating with blood thinners maybe aggressively in patients who are at high risk knowing that just ending up in the ICU can put you at risk for blood clots but there’s something different with COVID that is putting people at risk. And so as our understanding of this improves we need to get aggressive at managing and preventing this. So please do me a favor. Share this video everywhere you can. Remember the acronym BEFAST. Do not delay getting medical care if you are having those symptoms or a loved one is having those symptoms. I love you guys and we are out.