Doctors were able to deal with the problem in the meantime, so at least he didn’t die like that.
This entry in the January 2021 edition of The American Journal of Emergency Medicine is a stiff read. It describes a medical episode that took place last year at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.
The crux of the article outlines how a medical phenomenon known as a priapism can manifest itself in COVID patients. Priapism is when someone gets an erection for non-sexual reasons that lasts for an unusually long amount of time.
The 69-year-old patient with “a history of obesity” showed a week’s worth of symptoms like coughing and congestion. While his primary care doctor initially prescribed something for “acute sinusitis,” his respiratory situation got worse enough that the patient went to the emergency room.
The hospital staff put him on a ventilation routine. That’s when they noticed the abnormality down the patient's south.
“Sedation with propofol and cisatracurium was initiated for ventilator compliance. Upon supination the following afternoon, nursing noted an erection. Ice packs were placed but the erection persisted over the following 3 h with rigidity of the corpora cavernosa and flaccid glans. Urology was consulted and genital ultrasound showed normal arterial and venous Doppler flow and compressible dorsal penile veins with no identified thrombosis."
Ultimately the medical teams were able to treat the patient’s popper situation and bring it back to normal. The journal’s conclusion is that while an association between COVID and blood flow issues is suggested by evidence, there’s a lack of enough high-quality evidence to make a discernible general conclusion.
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