Blood-thinning drugs found to cut risk of COVID death

Blood-thinning drugs found to cut risk of COVID death
Blood-thinning drugs found to cut risk of COVID death

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: Coronavirus patients given blood-thinning drugs within 24 hours of being admitted to hospitable are less likely to die, according to new research.

A team of scientists from the UK and US studied more than 4,000 COVID-19-related hospital admissions, and found “strong real-world evidence” to support guidelines that recommend blood-thinners be administered to newly admitted patients as a preventive measure.

The research was prompted by a belief that some COVID-19-related deaths could be due to blood clots developing in major veins and arteries, but results from previous studies have been inconclusive. 

Published in the British Medical Journal, the new study says that people given prophylactic anticoagulation — blood-thinning — drugs were 4.4 percent less likely to die in absolute terms than those who were not given the drugs, representing a relative risk reduction of 34 percent.  

The researchers said: “These findings provide strong real world evidence to support guidelines recommending the use of prophylactic anticoagulation as initial treatment for patients with COVID-19 on hospital admission.” 

They also acknowledged that “owing to the observational nature of the study, a degree of uncertainty persists,” which they said can only be addressed through randomized trials.

Prophylactic anticoagulation drugs could join the ranks of many other therapeutic treatments which are already being used to prevent those that do get sick with COVID-19 from getting seriously ill or dying. 

While vaccines remain the gold-standard in protection from COVID-19, therapeutic treatments provide an important additional tool in the arsenal of healthcare workers trying to reduce mortalities until inoculations are widespread.

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