A local doctor believes there may be a connection between COVID-19 and the rising number of people suffering strokes.
Dr. Evgeny Sidorov with OU Health said that since the rise of both the Delta and Omicron variants, the number of stroke patients needing surgery is on the rise.
By the end of 2021, they went from doing around four major surgeries a month to around four every week in December.
Sidorov believes there are three things contributing to the spike.
First, he believes that our bodies response to a COVID infection can increase the thickness of our blood, which makes the possible formation of clots easier.
Second, he believes that COVID can affect the small lining of the blood vessels in the brain, heightening the possibility of a stroke.
Finally, he cites a study stating that more than 44% of COVID patients involved developed some form of abnormal heart function.
"So, if we add all of this together, this is why we could have an increase of ischemic strokes in patients with COVID," said Sidorov.
Dr. Sidorov said these conditions mostly apply to people with underlying health conditions or who have been put on a ventilator due to their fight with COVID.
He also clarified it wasn't only COVID patients who are suffering more strokes, he said there could be a wide variety of reasons why those patients were in the hospital.