A new study suggests that Irish patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus infection are experiencing abnormal blood clotting that contributes to death in some patients.
The abnormal blood clotting causes micro-clots within the lungs. What’s more, patients with higher levels of blood clotting activity had a significantly worse prognosis and were more likely to require ICU admission.
Professor James O’Donnell, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI and Consultant Haematologist in the National Coagulation Centre in St James’s Hospital, Dublin said, “Our novel findings demonstrate that COVID-19 is associated with a unique type of blood clotting disorder that is primarily focussed within the lungs and which undoubtedly contributes to the high levels of mortality being seen in patients with COVID-19.”
“In addition to pneumonia affecting the small air sacs within the lungs, we are also finding hundreds of small blood clots throughout the lungs. This scenario is not seen with other types of lung infection, and explains why blood oxygen levels fall dramatically in severe COVID-19 infection.”
“Understanding how these micro-clots are being formed within the lung is critical so that we can develop more effective treatments for our patients, particularly those in high-risk groups.”
“Further studies will be required to investigate whether different blood-thinning treatments may have a role in selected high-risk patients to reduce the risk of clot formation.”
- Helen Fogarty, COVID‐19 Coagulopathy in Caucasian patients. DOI: 10.1111/bjh.16749