In Brief: COVID deaths prevented with early anticoagulation; New Guidelines for VWD; Peter Mac sets 5 goals

COVID deaths prevented with early anticoagulation 

Patients given anticoagulants within the first 24 hours of being hospitalised with COVID-19 were about 30% less likely to die than patients who hadn’t been treated with prophylactic anticoagulation, according to real-world data from US where the strategy is being trialled.

The BMJ study of more than 4,000 patients found the preventative use of predominantly heparin-based prophylactic anticoagulation was associated with a relative risk reduction of 30-day mortality as high as 34% and an absolute risk reduction of 4.4% among patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Evidence of benefit was strongest among patients not admitted to the ICU within the first 24 hours of admission and researchers said early initiation of prophylactic anticoagulation was not associated with an increased risk of bleeding that required transfusion.

Reported high rates of COVID-19 deaths across the the US attributed to venous thromboembolism and arterial thromboses have prompted evaluations of the efficacy of prophylactic anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19 in RCTs, which are yet to be reported.

Until then, researchers say the findings from the current observational study provided “strong real-world evidence to support guidelines recommending the use of prophylactic anticoagulation as initial treatment for patients with COVID-19 on hospital admission.”

New Guidelines for VWD

New evidence-based guidelines on the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand disease (VWD) have been released in a joint effort from the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF), and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH).

Together the guidelines cover 23 recommendations.

Notably, there are key statements on thresholds of laboratory testing to classify VWD to be more inclusive of patients who experience bleeding, but whose blood work does not meet currently accepted thresholds for diagnosis – a level of less than 30% should receive a diagnosis while a level of less than 50%with a bleeding history would also be eligible for diagnosis.

Another important highlight is the recommendation that patients who suffer from frequent, severe bleeding that decreases quality of life should receive routine VWD prophylaxis – an injectable concentrate of clotting protein – several times a week. 

Peter Mac sets out ambitious top 5 goals

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has set out its goal for the next five years, including to deliver world beating cancer care.

In its strategic five-year plan the leading cancer centre in Melbourne aims to increase its national and global presence through education and by leading and collaborating on landmark cancer research.

It says it will achieve this by cultivating a high-trust, high-performance culture at Peter Mac for our workforce, patients and partners. Read More

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