AstraZeneca: Sister of blood clot victim urges UK to get jabbed
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UK drug safety experts are considering the possibility that the AstraZeneca jab could be linked to rare blood clotting events, including cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). Now, the UK’s drugs regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has said 18 to 29-year-olds in the UK will be offered a different vaccine instead when it is available and it’s time to be vaccinated. What is the risk of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine, and what are the symptoms of CVST?
As of March 31, there have been 79 reports of blood clots in people in the UK who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, accompanied by low blood platelet count.
A shocking 19 people out of these cases have died, although it isn’t certain what the cause was in every case.
Three of the 19 who died were under the age of 30, and 14 of the cases were cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.
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What is CVST, and how do you know if you are experiencing it?
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses.
It is a rare form of stroke that scientists would only expect to see in about five people per million yearly.
The dural venous sinuses are responsible for draining blood from the brain, and if a blood clot is present in the sinuses, blood won’t be drained out.
Normally, 85 percent of people who develop CVST have at least one of a range of risk factors from Thrombophilia, pregnancy, some blood disorders, cancer, obesity, meningitis, a chronic inflammatory disease, or a list of other conditions.
However, it is now thought that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be connected to more recent cases of CVST and deaths linked to it.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis symptoms
Nine in 10 people with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis have a headache that worsens over several days, but it could also develop quickly and manifest as a thunderclap headache.
Sometimes a headache is the only symptom of CVST, but many patients have the following stroke-like symptoms:
- Inability to move one or more limbs
- Weakness on one side of the face
- Difficulty speaking
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Other symptoms of CVST include:
- Blurred vision
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Seizures (40 percent of cases experience seizures)
If you suspect a stroke or CVST, you need to get help immediately.
Medical professionals may use an MRI scan, CT scan, venography, blood tests, ultrasounds and other similar methods to diagnose CVST.
Linked to the vaccine or not, CVST needs to be treated immediately in a hospital with things like fluids, antibiotics, anticoagulants, anti-seizure medicine, or even surgery.
If CVST isn’t treated immediately or there are complications, symptoms will get worse and patients could even die.
While CVST is serious, the Government is pushing on with the vaccination programme.
The World Health Organisation has said the link between the vaccine and CVST is “plausible” but not confirmed, and clots are “very rare” in people who have received the jab already.
The risk of dying from the AstraZeneca vaccine is about one in a million, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the jab is “safe, effective and the benefits far outweigh the risk for the vast majority of adults.”
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