COMMON blood thinners may reduce the death rate from coronavirus and speed healing, scientists have found.
Autopsies have shown that some Covid-19 patients have developed hundreds of tiny clots in their lungs and blood thinners may help prevent them.
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A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that heparin, an anticoagulant drug, “dramatically improves” the results for those with severe cases of the virus.
Professor Valentin Fuster, chief medical officer at Mount Sinai Hospital, said, “This research shows that blood thinners taken orally, subcutaneously or intravenously can play a major role in the care of Covid-19 patients.
“These can prevent life-threatening events associated with the coronavirus, including a heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism. “
Of the patients who received the drug, less than three in ten of those on ventilation died, compared to six in ten who did not receive the drug.
The drug also hopes to ease the pressure on doctors and nurses around the world, as treatment means that fewer people will need to be placed in intensive care.
There are, however, risks associated with the medication, such as internal bleeding.
But scientists say the difference in these events among those treated with or without them was not significant.
Meanwhile, experts have called for caution.
Open University professor Kevin McConway, who was not involved in the study, said “the results are presented with great caution”, adding that this is an observational study.
“As a result, there will inevitably be many differences between patients who have been treated with anticoagulants and those who have not, except for anticoagulants.
“These other differences could, at least in part, be behind any difference in survival. “
He said more research is needed to verify the results.
The team said the work describes an important therapeutic route for Covid-19 patients.
Professor Fuster added: “The use of blood thinners should be considered when patients are admitted to the emergency room and tested positive for Covid-19 in order to possibly improve the results.
“However, each case must be assessed on an individual basis to account for the risk of potential bleeding. “
The drugs used in the study are generally used to slow the formation of blood clots in patients at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Previous research at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai has identified potentially fatal clots in many Covid-19 hospital patients.
These can cut off the blood supply, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Co-researcher Dr Anu Lala of the Icahn School of Medicine said: “As a cardiologist who has been treating Covid-19 patients for three weeks, I have seen an increase in the number of blood clots among hospitalized patients.
“It is therefore essential to see whether anticoagulants provide them with benefits.
“It is important to note that further analysis and prospective studies are needed to determine the efficacy of widespread use of anticoagulants in Covid-19 hospital patients. “
What is herapine?
Herapin is a medicine used as an anticoagulant. It is usually given to patients for the treatment of heart attacks or unsustainable angina pectoris.
It is an anticoagulant used to prevent and treat blood clots in patients. Herapin is usually injected, but other blood thinners can also be taken in tablet form.
It is a prescription drug and cannot be purchased over the counter.
It works by disrupting the formation of blood clots in your veins. It helps prevent new clots from forming and also prevents existing clots from growing.
- bleeding may take longer to stop
- you can hurt yourself more easily
- increased liver enzymes
- irritation where it was injected
As part of the study, the records of 2,773 Covid-19 confirmed patients, specifically comparing the survival rates of those who received anticoagulants with those who were not evaluated were examined.
Sixty-three percent of ventilated patients who spent nine days on ventilators who were not treated with the drug died, compared to 29% of patients who were and spent 21 days on ventilators.
Meanwhile, 28% received a full dose of anticoagulant therapy usually given to those who already suspected of having clots. It’s more than the normal preventive dose.
On average, patients taking blood thinners died after spending an average of 21 days in hospital, compared with 14 for those who did not take the drug.
Participants were admitted to five hospitals in the Mount Sinai Health System in New York between March 14 and April 11.
Blood samples were taken upon arrival and the analysis revealed that patients who received anticoagulants had higher inflammatory markers.
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Among those who did not receive blood thinners, 1.9% experienced bleeding, compared to only 3% among those who received them.
Professor David Reich, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mount Sinai Hospital, said: “We hope that this report on the combination of anticoagulant therapy with improved survival will be confirmed in future investigations.
“Clever scientists from Mount Sinai continue to analyze our data on Covid-19 patients to contribute to global efforts to find effective treatments. “
A further study of 5,000 Covid-19 positive patients will now be performed to assess the oral, injection or intravenous heparin administration.
Lead author Dr. Girish Nadkarni, co-director of the Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center, said: “We are delighted with these preliminary results which could have a positive impact on patients of Covid-19 and potentially give them a better chance. survival, although more studies are needed. ”
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