Catastrophic APS

This is the most serious complication of APS. Fortunately, it is extremely rare and only occurs in less than 1% of patients with the condition – but when it does occur, it is an immediate medical emergency.

In CAPS cases, blood clots suddenly develop throughout the body and in the vital organs, such as the lungs, liver, adrenals, and brain. It is unclear what causes CAPS but, in a number of patients, infection, trauma, medication, or surgery seems to start the process.

The initial symptoms of CAPS can be wide-ranging but may include:

  • increasing breathlessness
  • abdominal pain
  • blood in your urine
  • seizures (fits)
  • coma

The symptoms of CAPS develop suddenly and rapidly worsen, so immediate admission to an intensive care unit for treatment is necessary. However, even with the best available treatment, the outlook for CAPS is still poor, with an approximate 30% mortality rate.

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