A 62-year-old patient who was being treated at a hospital in France, after having tested positive for Covid-19, suffered an erection of up to four hours which was caused by the coronavirus, according to the experts who analyzed the case.
The health professionals who cared for the patient, whose identity was kept anonymous, reported The Daily Mail
that the man came to his doctor with fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea. Two days later he was rushed to the hospital where he was found to have a coronavirus.
Because he showed signs of respiratory failure, he was fitted with an artificial respirator and after a physical examination it was found that he also suffered from “priapism (prolonged erection without sexual stimulation) not previously identified”.
Health specialists described the two corpora cavernosa, the tissue chambers within the penis, as stiff, although the tip was flaccid. The diagnosis was a “Low flow priapism”, which happens when blood is trapped in the erection chambers.
These priapisms differ from high flow priapisms, which are caused by injury. Although the man was sedated and was unable to describe his pain, it is believed to be excruciating.
Experts initially applied an ice pack to the penile area, but after 4 hours of a persistent erection, they extracted blood from the area with a needle and found “dark blood clots.” Once the professionals drained the patient, his penis returned to its resting state.
Finally, drugs were injected to normalize his nervous system and he was given medication to prevent blood clotting. According to the report, the man has not suffered from priapism since leaving the hospital.
Myriam Lamamri, an intensive care doctor, explained to the British environment that blood clotting occurs due to a wound, since it aims to stop bleeding. However, if this process occurs at the wrong time, thrombosis can develop, which develops clots in the veins and arteries that can block the heart, brain, and lungs.
Academic research on the case
Doctors from the Versailles Hospital Center in Le Chesnay analyzed the case in the magazine The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
, where they stated that it is the first coronavirus infected to show priapism.
Furthermore, they noted that thrombosis is a dangerous complication in up to a third of Covid-19 infected patients, although the reasons that originate it are unknown.
Dr. Richard Viney, a consultant urologic surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, explained to the Daily Mail that the intervention likely had consequences for the patient. Although the article does not go into detail about their follow-up, I would suspect a high probability of deep erectile failure after this event, which is unlikely to respond to medication. You probably need a penile prosthesis insert if you want to maintain its potency, “Visney said.
“In this patient, he has low-flow priapism that would certainly fit with microembolisms – small clots that form in smaller blood vessels – and this is one of the Covid complications that we see in many other organ systems,” concluded the expert.