The coronavirus pandemic caused millions of fatalities among people of all ages around the world. Even though the vaccines became available for usage, the slow supply caused some concerns among the experts. This shows that the effects of these coronavirus vaccines will take months and more deaths will occur during that time.
Most of the people with severe coronavirus infection suffer from blood clotting which affects all organs. Moreover, people with a severe coronavirus infection have a higher number of clots in their blood. The coronavirus patients develop rather sticky blood which causes thrombosis formation in the veins, also known as blood clots. This thrombosis can break off the wall of the veins and block the supply of blood in any organ. If this clot travels to the lungs, it can cause breathing problems or even death.
Over the past months, coronavirus patients with this issue received anticoagulant drugs in the hospitals. Anticoagulants are agents help in thinning of blood to prevent clot formation. These small doses prevented their blood from forming clots that can prove dangerous to the lungs. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), every hospitalized coronavirus patient should get anticoagulants. However, pregnant women should avoid getting those drugs.
Recently, a research team from the US and the UK published an observational study. According to the data, the people who received these anticoagulants had less risk of death. Also, this anti-clotting therapy lowered the overall death rate of severe coronavirus patients.
The findings of this study appeared recently in the journal BMJ.
According to the researchers, this study supports the recommendation to anticoagulants to people with severe coronavirus infection. The team of researchers looked at the data recorded from patients hospitalized from March 1 to July 31 in 2020.
This study consisted the data from 4,297 coronavirus-positive patients. The information contained their health records from 14 days before or after hospitalization. Also, the researchers excluded those individuals who received any anticoagulant drugs within a month before they tested positive. Moreover, people with anemia or excessive bleeding disorders were also excluded from this study.
The data shows that 3,627 patients received anticoagulating agents during their first day of stay at the hospital. This constitutes 84.4% of the total individuals included in this study. These drugs helped prevent clot formation in the veins of these individuals.
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According to the data, 69.1% of the patients received the drug called enoxaparin, and 30.2% people received heparin. These blood-thinning agents significantly reduced the rate of death among coronavirus patients. The researchers mentioned that the people who received these agents within 30 days had a 27% lower death risk. Meanwhile, those who did not receive these drugs had a higher death risk.
Even though this study shows promising benefits of anticoagulants for severe coronavirus infection, it has some limitations as well. The researchers only conducted an observational study and did not experiment in a clinical setting. Moreover, other factors such as treatments or general health of the patients could be the influence behind the lower death. The researchers also suggest that coronavirus complications could be the cause of death among people who did not receive the anti-clotting drugs.