A new study suggests that low-dose aspirin can help prevent people with COVID-19 from dying or ending up in an intensive care unit. Researchers from George Washington University noticed that many patients with COVID-19 were developing blood clots and thought that a blood-thinner, such as aspirin, could help.
"The reason why we started looking at aspirin and Covid is because in the spring we all realized that all these patients started to have a lot of thrombotic complications or a lot of blood clots that have formed throughout their bodies," Dr. Jonathan Chow, assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, told CNN.
"That is why we thought that using an antiplatelet agent, or a blood thinner, like aspirin, might be helpful in COVID-19."
They reviewed the records of over 400 patients from several U.S. hospitals and found that 24% had taken aspirin within a week of being admitted to the hospital. Those patients were 44% less likely to end up on a ventilator, 43% less likely to be admitted to the ICU, and 47% less likely to die during their hospitalization.
"In summary, our analysis suggests that aspirin use may have beneficial effects in patients with COVID-19. Mechanistically, these findings are plausible given aspirin's irreversible antiplatelet effect and the frequent hypercoagulability observed in COVID-19 patients. The results of our study are intriguing, especially because aspirin has been thoroughly studied in chronic cardiovascular disease, has a well-described safety profile, and is readily available throughout the world," the researchers wrote in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.
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