This blood thinner drug can lower death risk caused by COVID-19

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In a recent study published in the BMJ, researchers found a high dose of an inexpensive and globally available blood-thinning medication reduces the risk of death in hospitalized patients who are moderately ill with COVID-19.

They compared the effects of a high, therapeutic dose of heparin to a prophylactic low dose for patients with moderate COVID-19.

The study is from St. Michael’s Hospital. One author is Dr. Peter Jüni.

Heparin is a universally used blood thinner that prevents the formation of blood clots. D-dimers are protein fragments produced when a blood clot gets dissolved in the blood stream—increased d-dimer levels indicate higher risks of blood clots.

The researchers studied 465 patients in hospitals around the world and found that the dosing of heparin did reduce all-cause death in moderately-ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital by 78%.

The study confirms therapeutic heparin is beneficial in patients who are on the ward with COVID-19, but other studies suggest it could be harmful for patients who are in critical care.

Therapeutic doses of heparin are used for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary emboli, whereas prophylactic, or lower, doses are used for patients admitted to Internal Medicine wards to prevent blood clotting while they are in hospital.

Several trials have explored the use of blood thinners in COVID-19 patients because the virus causes heightened inflammation and clotting in blood vessels, which contributes to severe disease and death.

The team hopes this research contributes to a change in treatment guidelines for COVID-19 patients.

If you care about COVID vaccines and your health, please read studies about mammograms and the COVID-19 vaccine: What you need to know and findings of Mounting evidence suggests COVID vaccines do reduce transmission. How does this work?

For more information about COVID vaccines and wellness, please see recent studies about COVID vaccines: some fully vaccinated people will still get infected – here’s why and results showing that many Americans take immune-weakening drugs that may lower COVID vaccine response.

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