Neurologic complications of COVID-19.Am J Emerg Med. 2020 07; 38(7):1549.e3-1549.e7.AJ
Much of the focus regarding the global pandemic of coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) has been on the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic complications. However, neurologic complications have arisen as an increasingly recognized area of morbidity and mortality.
This brief report summarizes the neurologic complications associated with COVID-19 with an emphasis on the emergency medicine clinician.
COVID-19 has infected over 3.5 million people and killed over 240,000 people worldwide. While pulmonary complications are profound, the neurologic system is also significantly impacted, with complications including acute cerebrovascular events, encephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Additionally, patients on immunosuppressive medications for pre-existing neurologic issues are at an increased risk for complications with COVID-19 infection, and many of the currently proposed COVID-19 therapies can interact with these medications.
When caring for COVID-19 patients, emergency medicine clinicians should be aware of the neurologic complications from COVID-19.