Covid-19 may cause PRIAPISM: infected 62-year-old man suffers from four-hour erection


Covid-19 can cause priapism – an erection that lasts more than four hours, doctors warned.

An unidentified 62-year-old man from France suffered from the painful condition while receiving hospital care for a severe coronavirus attack.

His erection was caused by blood trapped in the penis, which turned out to be full of blood clots when it was drained by doctors.

Blood clotting, or thrombosis, has been reported as a dangerous complication in up to a third of patients infected with a coronavirus.

When clots block arteries or veins, blockages can trigger heart attacks and fatal strokes. They can also lead to pripiasm.

But it is believed to be the first time that priapism has been considered a side effect of the coronavirus, which has killed 500,000 people worldwide.

The patient left intensive care after spending two weeks on a ventilator, suggesting that he has now recovered from Covid-19.

A 62-year-old man in France suffered from priapism – an erection that lasts more than four hours – while receiving hospital care for a serious Covid-19

Doctors at the Versailles Hospital Center in Le Chesnay, a region near Paris, wrote about the man in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Myriam Lamamri, an intensive care physician, explained how the blood clotting caused by Covid-19 was widely reported during the pandemic.

Normally, blood clotting occurs when someone is injured. The clot prevents a wound, such as a paper cut, from bleeding.

This process can happen at the wrong time, causing thrombosis – when blood clots develop in the arteries and veins. These clots block the heart, brain and lungs.

Inpatients with Covid-19 suffer from blood clots, but doctors don’t know why.


According to doctors, up to 30% of people hospitalized with the coronavirus develop blood clots.

Experts say they have seen an increasing number of people with tiny clots in their lungs as well as larger ones in their veins as hospitals filled with Covid-19 patients.

Clots are dangerous because they can damage the tissue around them and rupture, going to the brain or heart to trigger a stroke or heart attack.

Professor Roopen Arya of King’s College London said in May: “I think it has become apparent that thrombosis is a major problem,” reported the BBC.

“Particularly in critically ill Covid patients in intensive care, where some of the most recent studies show that almost half of the patients have a pulmonary embolism or a blood clot in the lungs.

Professor Arya said he thought the blood clot rates among those seriously ill with Covid-19 could be 30% or more.

The reason that patients develop clots is that the virus makes their blood stickier, he observed, by triggering the release of certain hormones in the lungs.

Professor Arya added, “In severely ill patients, we see a shedding of chemicals in the blood, which in turn activates blood clotting. “

Anticoagulants, which are generally used to prevent or reduce clots, are dangerous in large doses as they can cause uncontrollable bleeding if injured.

More clots are likely to increase death rates from the virus, said Professor Arya.

Some say that the virus directly changes their blood. Another theory is that the effects of the virus on the immune system could also speed up clotting through various routes.

Dr. Lamamri said it was the first time that a penile thrombosis was reported in a patient with Covid-19.

The patient saw his doctor with fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing and diarrhea, and two days later was rushed to hospital where a test confirmed the coronavirus.

Upon arrival, he was mechanically ventilated because he showed signs of respiratory failure, called ARDS.

A physical examination revealed “previously unidentified priapism,” suggesting that it had been around for some time.

The two corpora cavernosa – the tissue chambers inside the penis – were rigid. But the point was flaccid.

The man suffered from low-flow priapism – when blood is trapped in the erection chambers – as opposed to high-flow priapism, caused by an injury.

It can often occur without a known cause in men who are otherwise healthy. It also affects men with sickle cell anemia, leukemia (blood cancer) or malaria.

The man was sedated and therefore was unable to answer questions about the pain he was suffering from – but the disease is known to become excruciating.

An ice pack was applied to the penis area. After four hours of a persistent erection, the doctors sucked blood from his penis with a needle.

They found “black blood clots” which they claimed were the result of coronavirus-induced thrombosis.

Doctors came to this conclusion because no other alternative cause of priapism was found and the virus is known to cause complications in blood clotting.

They wrote: “Although the arguments supporting a causal link between COVID-19 and priapism are very strong in our case, reports on other cases would strengthen the evidence.

“The clinical and laboratory presentation in our patient strongly suggests priapism linked to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

Any form of priapism can cause long-term damage and should therefore be treated as quickly as possible.

In addition to draining blood from the penis, doctors injected the man with drugs to normalize his nervous system, and he was given drugs to prevent blood clotting.

He has not had priapism since he left the hospital, the report said.

Dr. Richard Viney, consultant urological surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, said the case was “interesting” and that he had not encountered any Covid-19 patients with priapism himself.

He told MailOnline, “We have not seen any cases of Covid-related priapism like this one and we have treated more Covid patients than any other European hospital that I know of, so this is clearly a rare but explainable manifestation from Covid.

“Although the article does not go into details of its follow-up, I suspect a high probability of deep erectile failure after this event which is unlikely to respond to medication. He would probably need a penile prosthesis insertion if he wanted to maintain his power.

“In this patient, he has low-flow priapism that would certainly go with microembolism (small clots forming in small blood vessels) and this is one of the complications of Covid that we see in many other systems of organs.

Dr. Viney said another explanation could be deep hypoxia – oxygen starvation.

This is seen in men who die by hanging, who have erections after death, due to the pressure on the cerebellum at the base of the brain created by the noose.

He received the nickname “Angels Lust” or “Terminal Erection”.


Priapism is a long-lasting painful erection that can cause permanent damage to your penis if not treated quickly, including scarring and permanent erectile dysfunction.

Priapism can occur in all age groups, including newborns. However, it usually affects men in two different age groups: between 5 and 10 years old, and 20 and 50 years old.

The condition develops when the blood in the penis is trapped and is unable to flow.

There are two types of priapism: low flow and high flow.

Low-flow priapism: This is the result of blood trapped in the erection chambers. It often occurs without a known cause in men who are otherwise healthy, but it also affects men with sickle cell anemia, leukemia (blood cancer) or malaria.

High speed priapism: This is more rare and is generally not painful. It is the result of a ruptured artery from an injury to the penis or perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus), which prevents blood in the penis from flowing normally.

The causes

Priapism most often affects people with sickle cell disease.

Less common causes include blood thinners, such as warfarin, certain antidepressants, recreational drugs – such as cannabis and cocaine – certain drugs for high blood pressure, other blood disorders, such as thalassemia and leukemia, and certain treatments. for erection problems.

Malignant priapism, secondary to cancer, is rarely reported and has poor results.

It occurs when the cancer makes the penis rigid and can only be relieved when the cancer is treated.

An erection that lasts more than four hours is known as priapism and is a medical emergency.


  • try to urinate
  • take a hot bath or shower
  • to drink a lot of water
  • take a gentle walk
  • try exercises like squats or running on the spot
  • take pain relievers like paracetemol if you need to

Do not do it

  • do not apply ice or cold water to your penis – it can make things worse
  • not having sex or masturbating – it will not make your erection go away
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • no smoking

The goal of any treatment is to suppress the erection and maintain the ability to have erections in the future, and may include surgical ligation, intravenous injection, and surgical shunt.

Source: NHS and Cleveland Clinic


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