COVID-19 and Blood Clotting

As COVID-19 impacts communities across the United States, the National Blood Clot Alliance has monitored aspects of this novel coronavirus that intersect with the clinical interests of the clotting and clotting disorders community.

Specifically, NBCA’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board has been focused on the recognition of coagulopathies – or different types of blood clotting – that are being reported among people affected by COVID-19, particularly those who become severely ill after infection with the virus.

While research is ongoing and new studies emerge almost daily with new information, many questions remain about COVID-19. NBCA is sharing the resources below to help provide information and resources to help people better understand the relationship between COVID-19 and blood clots. Individuals are encouraged, however, to always speak with their healthcare providers about all of their questions and concerns.


COVID-19 and Blood Clotting: Frequently Asked Questions 

In recent months, NBCA has received numerous questions about the potential for clotting associated with COVID-19.

While much information remains to be known and confirmed, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to share the most current information available.

We will continue to update this resource as more information is made available, and your healthcare provider also may be able to help address your questions and share other resources.

 

CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO ACCESS OUR DEDICATED WEB PAGE OF FAQS:

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Additional Public Health Resources 

Additional resources about COVID-19, including information that can help keep you and your family safe, is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

This and other CDC guidance can be viewed here: CDC Website, COVID-19. In addition, individuals with questions can contact CDC’s general information help desk online or by phone at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or by email at cwus@cdc.gov.

You also can obtain important information from your local public health department. You can search for your local health department here: Directory of Local Health Departments.

You also can obtain important information from your local public health department. You can search for your local health department here: Directory of Local Health Departments.


NBCA Coronavirus Communications

Click on the links below to read more information about COVID-19 and blood clots shared by NBCA:


Global Survey Documents Treatment Patterns to Prevent Blood Clots among Hospitalized Individuals with COVID-19

A group of clinicians and researchers – led by Rachel Rosovsky, MD, a hematologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and a member of NBCA’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board – recently conducted a global survey among more than 500 physicians from 41 different countries to document how healthcare providers are preventing, diagnosing, and treating blood clots in people with COVID-19. Below (right) is an infographic that visually depicts key findings from this survey. Information from this survey, published in the medical journal Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis, shows:

  • The majority (78 percent) of the survey respondents reported that they recommend prophylactic (intended to prevent disease) anticoagulation therapy to help prevent blood clots from forming in individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. There was a wide variation in practice when respondents were asked in what situations they would increase the dose of anticoagulation.
  • Bleeding, a potential side effect of any anticoagulation therapy, was addressed by most (73 percent, n=377) of the survey respondents, with more than half (54 percent) of this group reporting that they saw no bleeding, about one-third (34 percent) reporting minor bleeding, and smaller numbers of respondents reporting clinically relevant bleeding (14 percent) or major or potentially life-threatening bleeding (12 percent).
  • Most (75 percent, n=391) of the survey participants responded to questions about using compression ultrasound (a medical imaging technique that involves the placement on the skin of a probe that uses soundwaves to construct an image of tissue beneath the skin to determine if a clot may be present) to diagnose a deep vein thrombosis (DVT, or blood clot in the leg or arm) among people affected by COVID-19. Specifically:
    • 80 percent of this group reported that they obtained compression ultrasound DVT symptoms only if a patient had symptoms of a DVT
    • 17 percent recommend compressional ultrasound if a patient had an elevated D-dimer (a blood test that may indicate if a person has elevated levels of the D-dimer protein fragment that remains after a clot forms)
    • 8 percent recommended compression ultrasound in all hospitalized patients who were critically ill and in the intensive care unit (ICU)
  • A portion (44 percent) of the survey respondents shared their estimates for the potential incidence of clotting among patients hospitalized for COVID-19, with estimates ranging from as low as 1 percent up to 50 percent, with higher numbers in ICU than among all hospitalized patients.

The group of medical experts who conducted this survey stress the urgent need for both well-designed studies to help the medical community understand the incidence and risk factors for blood clots among people affected by COVID-19, as well as randomized clinical trials to address the use of anticoagulation therapies among these same individuals.

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) can track global updates relative to COVID-19, using the interactive map created and maintained by Johns Hopkins University here: Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard. (Reference: Dong E, Du H, Gardner L. An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real-time. Lancet Infect Dis; published online Feb 19, 2020.)

In addition, HCPs can review guidance from the Anticoagulation Forum here and the American Society of Hematology here.


 

Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to understand the risk factors for blood clots, and also the signs and symptoms that might signal you need to seek medical attention.

 

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about blood clot risk factors here: Risk Factors

Learn more about blood clot signs and symptoms here: Signs and Symptoms


Healthcare Professionals: Our Best Resources

The information provided here is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please talk to your physician or medical team about any questions you have concerning your health or COVID-19 and clotting.

If you need help in finding a second opinion or medical expert in your local community, you can use one of the search tools at the following link to identify medical experts in your local community: Find a Doctor.

 

 


Additional NBCA Resources