TORONTO – The use of blood thinners by COVID-19 patients either before or after becoming infected with the disease could cut deaths by almost half, according to new research.

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the study, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal EClinicalMedicine, looked at ways to reduce clotting and hospitalization related to COVID-19 through the use of prescribed blood thinners.

“We know that COVID-19 causes blood clots that can kill patients,” Dr. Samih Hozayne, lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said in a statement. News release. “But do blood thinners save lives in COVID-19? Blood thinners are drugs that are prescribed to prevent blood clots in patients who have had prior blood clots in the lungs or legs. They prevent blood clots in the brain.” also prevent abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation. Blood thinners are the standard of treatment in these diseases, which is why we looked at the data to see if this affected hospitalizations related to COVID-19. .

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“We already know that overwhelmed hospitals have a higher risk of death in their patients, so reducing hospitalizations could have a positive impact during the surge of COVID-19.”

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The study also found that patients who took blood thinners before becoming infected with the virus were hospitalized less frequently, despite being older on average and suffering from more chronic medical conditions than their peers.

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The study evaluated 6,195 adult COVID-19 patients between March 4 and August 28, 2020, of whom 598 were hospitalized immediately and 5,597 were treated as outpatients. Of the outpatients, 160 were already on blood thinners, and 331 were eventually hospitalized. . Patients taking blood thinners at the time of diagnosis had a 43 percent lower risk of hospitalization.

Hospitalized patients also benefited from blood thinners regardless of the type or dose of medication used.

According to Dr. Hozayne, most medical centers around the world currently have protocols in place for starting COVID-19 patients on blood thinners when admitted to the hospital. Tracking the use of prescription drugs in a hospital is easy, but among those who have previously been prescribed blood thinners and who want to benefit from this study, one of the challenges is to keep track of their medication. follow the diet.

“Unfortunately, about half of patients being prescribed blood thinners for blood clots in their legs, lungs, abnormal heart rhythm or other reasons do not take them. Adherence to those already prescribed blood thinners. By increasing, we can potentially reduce the ill effects of COVID-19,” he said. “Outside of COVID-19, the use of blood thinners has been shown to be life-saving for people with blood-thinning conditions.”