Unvaccinated Nebraska Man Hospitalized With 'Humongous' Blood Clot After Catching COVID

A U.S. farmer has urged people to "trust the science" and get vaccinated after his COVID infection led to him being hospitalized with a blood clot.

Quentin Bowen, 41, from Richardson County in Nebraska, fell ill with the virus in May.

After several days of lying low and taking Tylenol, Bowen was unable to shake his fever and an oxygen monitor showed his levels would sometimes dip below normal.

Eventually Bowen went to a hospital to have a chest X-ray, which revealed he had viral pneumonia in both lungs.

A blood test also revealed Bowen had high levels of D-dimer, a chemical that signals a blood clot. However, a further scan did not reveal any clots.

Bowen thought he may be on the road to recovery as his fever had improved. However, one morning he had a coughing fit and an oxygen monitor showed his oxygen levels were dangerously low. His feet were also hurting.

Bowen was taken into an emergency room where a CT scan found a blood clot in his lungs. He then spent a week at Bryan East Campus in Lincoln, where he was given supplemental oxygen and blood thinning medication to help deal with the clots.

Bowen told the Lincoln Journal Star his body was dealing with the after-effects of his COVID infection, calling his blood clot "humongous."

He said: "I would say trust the science, forget the politics and the social media, and get vaccinated.

"There's nothing in this vaccine that can do to you what this disease can do to you, so why take the chance?"

In recent months there have been reports that certain COVID vaccines may be linked to blood clots.

Such concerns led to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being temporarily paused in the U.S., though the CDC now states the vaccine's benefits "outweigh its known and potential risks."

In April the incidence of a certain type of blood clot occuring in Johnson & Johnson vaccine patients was found to be less than one in a million.

Evidence suggests COVID patients are at increased risk of developing blood clots.

Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, a specialist in lung diseases and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine, wrote on the institution's website that some COVID patients undergo "a massive inflammatory response, the cytokine storm that raises clotting factors in the blood."

In February this year, a study published in the British Medical Journal involving 4,297 patients admitted to hospital from March 1 to July 31, 2020, with severe COVID found that early administration of anti-blood clot medicine "was associated with a decreased risk of 30-day mortality" compared to patients who didn't receive any such medicine.

And a Dutch study published in Thrombosis Research in April 2020 of 184 ICU patients with COVID-19 pneumonia found a 31 percent incidence of "thrombotic complications," meaning blood-clot related issues.

Bowen, who didn't get around to getting a vaccine initially, now wants to get one as soon as he is allowed—but must wait a while due to his monoclonal antibody treatment.

Some 324 million COVID vaccinations had been administered across the U.S. as of Monday morning, according to CDC data. This means 46.3 percent of the total population have been fully vaccinated.

Nurses pushing bed
A stock photo shows nurses pushing a bed with a patient on it. COVID has been linked to an increased blood clot risk. shapecharge/Getty