BJC neurologist spreads word about blood clots after Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine put on pause


ST. LOUIS – With the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine on pause as the CDC investigates a handful of rare blood clots in vaccine takers, more attention is being focused on strokes.

If you or someone you are with is having stroke symptoms its important that you call an ambulance and get to a hospital that is a certified stroke center like Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Doctors emphasize it is extremely rare to develop a blood clot from a vaccine, but since blood clots can lead to a stroke, neurologists are spreading the word about symptoms and treatment.

The clots are called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis- they prevent blood from draining out of the brain and can cause a stroke.

Doctors say watch out for these symptoms.

“The most common symptom by far is headache and a particularly severe headache unlike anything you’ve experienced before but in some cases these kinds of blood clots can lead to seizures of even stroke like symptoms and any of these conditions should prompt a visit to your doctor,” Dr. Akash Kansagra, an Interventional Neuroradiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital said.

Dr. Kansagra said individuals most at risk of developing blood clots have underlying conditions or are women who take oral contraceptives.

He said doctors at Barnes have successfully treated patients with blood clots by using clot-busting drugs or a minimally invasive procedure by putting a catheter in a vein an physically extracting the clot.

These are clots not caused by vaccines.

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