How to Build the Plane While Flying: VTE/PE Thromboprophylaxis Clinical Guidelines for COVID-19 Patients

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 Jun 16;1-15. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2020.195. Online ahead of print.


Over the years, the practice of medicine has evolved from authority-based to experience-based to evidence-based with the introduction of the scientific process, clinical trials, and outcomes-based data analysis (Tebala GD. Int J Med Sci. 2018;15(12):1397-1405). The time required to perform the necessary randomized controlled trials, a systematic literature review, and meta-analysis of these trials to then create, accept, promulgate, and educate the practicing clinicians to use the evidence-based clinical guidelines is typically measured in years. When the severe acute respiratory syndrome novel coronavirus-2 (SARS-nCoV-2) pandemic commenced in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, there were few available clinical guidelines to deploy, let alone adapt and adopt to treat the surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. The aim of this study is to first explain how clinical guidelines, on which bedside clinicians have grown accustomed, can be created in the midst of a pandemic, with an evolving scientific understanding of the pathophysiology of the hypercoagulable state. The second is to adapt and adopt current venous thromboembolism diagnostic and treatment guidelines, while relying on the limited available observational reporting of COVID-19 patients to create a comprehensive clinical guideline to treat COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; D-dimer; DOAC; deep vein thrombosis; pulmonary embolism.