Acute ischemic stroke – an extrapulmonary COVID-19 presentation


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a high contagious and deadly virus, with an endless capacity to surprise clinicians with new presentations and complications. Although COVID-19 typically presents as respiratory infection but it can present with thromboembolic event. Our hospital, one of the main territory care hospitals in Kuwait, experiencing sudden surge of stroke cases in last few weeks of COVID-19 pandemic. Stroke is a medical emergency which needs early recognition and management for better neurological outcome. In the COVID-19 pandemic, when seeing patients with neurological manifestations, clinicians should consider COVID-19 as a differential diagnosis and should take full protective measures until proven to be negative. Based on our experience, we want to highlight that COVID-19 patients can present with extrapulmonary manifestation like stroke. Emergency physicians, stroke team and intensivist should be wary of this fact. Triaging and COVID-19 screening is the key to minimize the virus spread and to ensure staff and other patients safety.

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