Give Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Blood Thinners

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, February 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Giving blood thinners to patients with COVID-19 soon after hospitalization could reduce their risk of dying.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that analyzed data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs on nearly 4,300 patients, an average of 68 years old, who were hospitalized for COVID between March 1 and July 31.

Of these, more than 84% received anticoagulants within 24 hours of admission – a step called prophylactic anticoagulation.

Within 30 days of admission, the overall death rate was 14.5%.

The mortality rate was 14.3% in patients who received anticoagulants and 18.7% in those who did not.

The benefit appears to be greatest in patients who have not been admitted to intensive care within 24 hours of hospitalization.

The researchers said they represented other potentially important factors such as patients’ age, ethnicity, underlying health issues, medication history, weight, and smoking.

Significantly, patients who received anticoagulants did not have a higher risk of serious bleeding than those who did not receive anticoagulants, according to the team led by Christopher Rentsch, assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in England. The results were published on February 11 in the BMJ.

Some deaths from COVID-19 are believed to be caused by blood clots forming in major arteries and veins. Blood thinners prevent blood clots and have antiviral and even anti-inflammatory properties.

Clinical trials are underway to determine whether prophylactic anticoagulation could be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Until the results of these trials are available, the results of this study “provide strong real-world evidence to support guidelines recommending the use of prophylactic anticoagulation as the initial treatment for patients with COVID- 19 during their hospitalization, ”Rentsch and colleagues said in a press release. .

More information

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

SOURCE: BMJ, press release, February 11, 2021

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