The fight against coronavirus suffers another setback from vaccines. Spain joins the rest of the countries that stop administering the Astrazeneca vaccine. This is a decision made by Health after detecting the first local case of a “rare” cerebral thrombus. This suspension for the moment will be temporary and will last 15 days.
It has not been the only country that has registered such a case since until this weekend they have been 11 “strange” cases of brain thrombi that set off the alarms in the European Union. In Germany up to 6 people with this anomaly were discovered and Norway the other 4 cases are found. In Spain, there are already three suspected cases of thrombi that have been reported. The director of the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEM), María Jesús Lamas insisted that it consists of a “cerebral venous” thrombosis in the “venous sinuses” which is “infrequent”. It also confirmed that it was a case with a “decrease in platelets” and an “activation of an irregular coagulation”.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is a cerebrovascular disease infrequent, according to the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN). Although from this institution they affirm that, within what is known as cerebrovascular disease, it represents less than 0.5% of total cases in Spain. Thus, its incidence reaches 1 – 1.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. Its appearance tends to occur more frequently among the youngest and specifically among women since the risk factors are the use of oral contraceptives, hormonal therapies or pregnancy.
What are the symptoms?
The headache becomes the «most common symptom of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis “since” nine out of ten people “diagnosed with the disease have this ailment, as determined by the SEN. A »very intense« headache has manifested itself in cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis that have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, according to the EMA director. This symptom has appeared between 3 and 14 days after inoculation. A headache that may be accompanied by ‘vomiting or irregular bleeding’ and that it “gets worse when lying down and does not get better with painkillers.”
Likewise, it can be felt on only one side of the head, and the pain can be aggravated when some type of exercise is performed. In this way, the usual medications or solutions for headaches would not work for its treatment. They also point out that this disease can cause seizures, or a stiff neck.
As it is a common symptom, you have to know distinguish between a headache and a simple headache. For this reason, the Spanish Society of Neurology indicates other symptoms to detect early that it is this disease. The focal deficit, a decrease in strength or sustained sensitivity, a variation when walking or speaking, events of confusion or a loss of vision are some signs that would help us to differentiate it.
Which is the treatment?
To detect a case of thrombi, neuroimaging tests, such as CT and Magnetic Resonance. While to treat this disease like the rest of cerebrovascular diseases, it must be diagnosed as soon as possible to stop the consequences. For this, antithrombotic drugs are chosen. “Generally and, especially if it is treated in time, patients suffering from cerebral venous sinus thrombosis have a favorable prognosis”, dictates Dr. José Miguel Láinez. In the most extreme situations, endovascular thrombectomy should be used and thrombolysis is also very useful to eliminate the thrombus, explains the SEN.
José Miguel Láinez warns that “Only in severe cases where treatment is delayed, can it lead to disability or a fatal outcome”. In Spain, a 43-year-old woman died this Tuesday who received the vaccine and presented a severe headache. Despite this, he adds that «in recent years, thanks also in part to the fact that most cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis reach hospitals through the Stroke Code, the speed in the care of these patients has been increasing. faster and the prognosis of this disease is more and more favorable ».
The recovery of patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in Spain is total in 80% of patients, while only 5% causes more serious sequelae, according to the SEN.
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