Covid-19 is associated with inflammation and abnormal clotting in the blood vessels, particularly in the lungs, and is believed to contribute to severe disease and death progression. According to a study, administering a full dose of a standard blood thinner (heparin) early to moderately ill hospitalized patients with Covid-19 could halt the formation of blood clots and reduce the risk of severe disease and death.
The researchers from Canada noted that heparin — a blood thinner given regularly at a low dose to hospitalized patients — stops clots from forming and reduces inflammation.
The yet-to-be-published study examined the benefits of administering a therapeutic full dose of heparin Vs a prophylactic low dose to moderately ill patients admitted to hospital wards with Covid-19.
The researchers said that the primary outcome was a composite of ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, or death up to 28 days, adding that safety outcomes included major bleeding.
The primary outcome occurred in 37 of 228 patients with therapeutic full dose heparin and 52 of 237 with low dose heparin. Four patients with therapeutic heparin died compared to 18 with prophylactic heparin.
“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,” said first author and co-principal of the study. The research indicated that therapeutic heparin is beneficial in moderately ill hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
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