A 69-year-old man is said to have suffered a three-hour erection caused by COVID-19 before he died.
The man was admitted to the Miami Valley Hospital, United States, in August with severe breathlessness and inflammation, which caused fluid to be built up in his lungs. He was placed on a ventilator after his lungs started to fail after 10 days of treatment.
A report in the American Journal of American Medicine, said the man was placed face down to help spread air around his body. He was found to have an erection when he was turned back on his back in the afternoon.
Doctors say the erection, called priapism in medicine, was caused by blood clots due to COVID-19. His penis returned to normal after the trapped blood was drained. The patient later died in ICU when his lungs failed.
COVID-19 has been found in many patients to damage blood vessels, causing dangerous blood clots. While experts are unsure why the virus causes the blockages, the prevailing theory is that it is the result of an immune overreaction called a ‘cytokine storm’, which sees the body attack healthy tissue.