Treatment with blood thinners may reduce death in COVID patients

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Toronto: Administering a full dose of an ordinary blood thinner early to reasonably unwell hospitalised patients with COVID-19 may halt the formation of blood clots and reduce the chance of extreme illness and death, finds a research.

COVID-19 is marked by heightened irritation and irregular clotting in the blood vessels, notably in the lungs, and is believed to contribute to development to extreme illness and death.

The research, led by investigators at St Michael’s Hospital in Canada, and the University of Vermont in the US, confirmed that heparin — a blood thinner given recurrently at low dose to hospitalised patients — stops clots from forming and reduces irritation. The particulars can be found as a preprint on MedRxiv.

“This study was designed to detect a difference in the primary outcome that included ICU transfer, mechanical ventilation or death,” mentioned Mary Cushman, Professor of medication from Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine.

“While we found that therapeutic heparin didn’t statistically significantly lower incidence of the primary composite of death, mechanical ventilation or ICU admission compared with low dose heparin, the odds of all-cause death were significantly reduced by 78 percent with therapeutic heparin,” mentioned first creator Michelle Sholzberg, Head of Division of Hematology-Oncology, at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto, and assistant professor on the University of Toronto.

The staff carried out a randomised worldwide trial that examined the advantages of administering a therapeutic full dose of heparin versus a prophylactic low dose to reasonably unwell patients admitted to hospital wards with COVID-19.

Four patients (1.8 %) with therapeutic heparin died versus 18 (7.6 %) with prophylactic heparin).

An further meta-analysis offered in the preprint confirmed that therapeutic heparin is useful in reasonably unwell hospitalised patients however not in severely unwell ICU patients.

“We believe that the findings of our trial and the multiplatform trial taken together should result in a change in clinical practice for moderately ill ward patients with COVID-19,” Sholzberg mentioned.

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