A large clinical trial conducted worldwide found that treating moderately ill hospitalised Covid-19 patients with a full-dose blood thinner can reduce their need for organ support, such as mechanical ventilation, and improve their chances of leaving the hospital.
The use of this treatment strategy for critically ill Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care, on the other hand, did not produce the same results, according to the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“These results make for a compelling example of how important it is to stratify patients with different disease severity in clinical trials. What might help one subgroup of patients might be of no benefit, or even harmful, in another,” said Gary H Gibbons, Director at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Antithrombotics, which include blood thinners or anticoagulants, help prevent clot formation in certain diseases. But, doctors did not know which antithrombotic drug, what dose, and at what point during the course of Covid-19, antithrombotics might be effective.
To understand, the team included 1,074 critically ill and 2,219 moderately ill patients, to study the effects of using a full, or therapeutic dose, of the blood thinner heparin versus a low, or prophylactic dose, of heparin in moderately and critically ill patients hospitalised with Covid-19.