According to recent findings by the Cleveland Clinic and many medical institutions, it appears that one of the possible symptoms of coronavirus infection is erectile dysfunction. However, unfortunately for an obese 69-year old Ohio man, he endured three excruciating hours of another severe symptom of COVID-19 that happens to be the exact opposite: priapism, a.k.a. a persistent and painful erection of the penis.
In August of last year, the unnamed man was admitted to Miami Valley Hospital after experiencing extensive coughing and fluid in his lungs for more than a week. Per his case, which was documented in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the patient tested positive for COVID-19 infection and was subsequently placed on a ventilator, but his condition continued to worsen. So the man was turned face down to assist with his breathing, and when nurses went to adjust his positioning 12 hours later, they noticed an erection that would not relent.
In a comment to the Daily Mail, urological surgeon Dr. Richard Viney of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, said, “We haven’t seen any cases of COVID-related priapism like this, and we have dealt with more COVID patients than any other European hospital as far as I’m aware, so this is clearly a rare but explainable manifestation of COVID.”
However, the current prevailing theory in the medical community is that a side effect of COVID-19 is the “cytokine storm,” whereupon the body attacks healthy cells and results in blood clots.
But Dr. Viney then offered the following possibility for the Ohio man’s penile condition: “In this patient, he had low flow priapism which would certainly fit with microemboli (little clots forming in smaller blood vessels), and this is one of the complications of COVID we see in many other organ systems.”
Note that another documented case of a 62-year old Frenchman also suffers priapism, thanks to COVID-19. He was successfully treated for two weeks at the Centre Hospitalier de Versailles in Le Chesnay near Paris and sent home, having no more issues with his breathing or his boner.
With regard to the Miami Valley Hospital patient, his penis would not go down after being treated with ice packs after three hours. Therefore, the staff resorted to draining it with a needle, which resolved that matter. But sadly, though his priapism was finally over, the damage to his lungs was too much, and the patient died. Yet if there is any consolation, the patient was sedated and unconscious throughout the ordeal.