DVT Clots Strike Many Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: Stud
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In a small French study, three-quarters of all COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care went on to experience a dangerous blood clot, Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg that can travel to the lungs and potentially cause death.

The new research was led by Dr. Tristan Morichau-Beauchant, an intensive care unit (ICU) specialist at the Northern Cardiology Center in Saint-Denis, France.

Key Insights:

• The study focused on 34 consecutive COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care at the center between mid-March and the beginning of April.

• All of the patients were given blood thinners upon admission, and doctors also ordered leg ultrasounds, taken at admission, and then again 48 hours later.

• Blood tests, looking for a key marker of clotting risk called D-dimer, were also taken from each patient.

• "D-dimer is a byproduct of clot activity," Zaric explained, "and is frequently used as a screening 'rule out' test to exclude the possibility of DVT or pulmonary embolism [lung clot]."

• The team found extremely high rates of DVT -- more than three-quarters of patients developed a leg clot. In some cases, the clots didn't form until two days after hospital admission, the French researchers said.

• Morichau-Beauchant and colleagues noted that, as is common in severely ill COVID-19 patients, many had preexisting medical issues. Nearly half (44%) had diabetes, more than a third (38%) had high blood pressure and many were obese.

• Because blood levels of D-dimer were high, indicative of clot risk, outcomes for these patients "might be improved with early detection and a prompt start of anticoagulant [blood thinner] therapy," the French team said.

"In our institution, we have been implementing recommendations to discharge those with high D-dimer levels on a short-term anticoagulation course of four to six weeks, even if no evidence of DVT or pulmonary embolism could be demonstrated, as long as close clinical and imaging follow-up can be established as an outpatient," researcher explained.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2766543
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Interesting read!
May 31, 2020Like1