Doctors and nurses wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as they perform a procedure on a coronavirus COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit (I.C.U.) at Regional Medical Center on May 21, 2020 in San Jose, California. Frontline workers are continuing to care for coronavirus COVID-19 patients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Santa Clara county, where this hospital is located, has had the most deaths of any Northern California county, and the earliest known COVID-19 related deaths in the United States.
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A man spent 64 days at a California hospital where he suffered major complications from the novel coronavirus and underwent amputation, KTLA reported.
Gregg Garfield became the first coronavirus patient to be treated at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, after contracting the virus in February.
When he was released from the hospital in May, he’d left without any fingers on his right hand and most were gone on his left.
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A man spent 64 days in a California hospital for coronavirus, suffering major complications and undergoing amputation.
Gregg Garfield was treated at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California after he caught the virus during a ski trip in Italy in February, KTLA reported. He was the first patient to be treated with coronavirus at that hospital, according to the report.
Garfield’s symptoms quickly worsened and he was placed on a ventilator for about a month, the report said. Doctors told him he had a 1% chance to live, according to KTLA.
Related: Some COVID-19 survivors are losing the ability to walk
Garfield suffered complications from the virus including “MRSA, sepsis, kidney failure, liver failure, pulmonary embolism, burst lungs,” he told the outlet. Additionally, all the fingers on his right hand and most on his left were amputated.
Garfield, who was released from the hospital and returned home on May 8, said that his hands “are never going to be the same,” KTLA reported.
“I don’t have fingers anymore. This can happen to you,” he added.
Dr. David Kulber of Cedars Sinai Medical Center located in Los Angeles told KTLA that his fingers were amputated due to “how the virus impacts patients’ blood flow.”
“COVID has effects on the endovascular blood stream, so it actually affects the blood flow,” Kulber told the outlet. “That’s why some young people have had strokes, and that’s why anticoagulation — putting patients on blood thinners — now has been a standard care for COVID patients.”
Health officials previously discovered that many coronavirus patients have symptoms of excessive blood clotting. As Business Insider’s Holly Secon previously reported, blood-vessel-related complications have manifested in coronavirus patients’ legs, lungs, hearts, brains, and skin. And while doctors still aren’t sure how or why the virus triggers excessive clotting, they’re looking to treat these symptoms with blood-thinners and clot-busting drugs.
Surgeons are creating prosthetics for Garfield’s fingers and it will function “like a bionic hand,” Kulber told KTLA. The report says that the process will require at least six operations.
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