Anti-coagulant and anti-platelet therapy in the COVID-19 patient: a best practices quality initiative across a large health system

Ryan A Watson, Drew M Johnson, Robin N Dharia, Geno J Merli, John U Doherty
Hospital Practice (Minneapolis) 2020, 48 (4): 169-179

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has challenged health-care systems and physicians worldwide to attempt to provide the best care to their patients with an evolving understanding of this unique pathogen. This disease and its worldwide impact have sparked tremendous interest in the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical consequences of COVID-19. This accumulating body of evidence has centered around case series and often empiric therapies as controlled trials are just getting underway. What is clear is that patients appear to be at higher risk for thrombotic disease states including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), venous thromboembolism (VTE) such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), or stroke. Patients with underlying cardiovascular disease are also at higher risk for morbidity and mortality if infected. These patients are commonly treated with anticoagulation and/or antiplatelet medications and less commonly thrombolysis during hospitalization, potentially with great benefit but the management of these medications can be difficult in potentially critically ill patients. In an effort to align practice patterns across a large health system (Jefferson Health 2,622 staffed inpatient beds and 319 intensive care unit (ICU) beds across 14 facilities), a task force was assembled to address the utilization of anti-thrombotic and anti-platelet therapy in COVID-19 positive or suspected patients. The task force incorporated experts in Cardiology, Vascular Medicine, Hematology, Vascular Surgery, Pharmacy, and Vascular Neurology. Current guidelines, consensus documents, and policy documents from specialty organizations were used to formulate health system recommendations.

OBJECTIVE: Our goal is to provide guidance to the utilization of antithrombotic and antiplatelet therapies in patients with known or suspected COVID-19.

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