Impact of implementation of an individualised thromboprophylaxis protocol in critically ill ICU patients with COVID-19: A longitudinal controlled before-after study

Thromb Res. 2020 Jul 22;194:209-215. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2020.07.038. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: An individualised thromboprophylaxis was implemented in critically ill patients suffering from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia to reduce mortality and improve clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of this intervention on clinical outcome.

Methods: In this mono-centric, controlled, before-after study, all consecutive adult patients with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to ICU from March 13th to April 20th 2020 were included. A thromboprophylaxis protocol, including augmented LMWH dosing, individually tailored with anti-Xa measurements and twice-weekly ultrasonography screening for DVT, was implemented on March 31th 2020. Primary endpoint is one-month mortality. Secondary outcomes include two-week and three-week mortality, the incidence of VTE, acute kidney injury and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). Multiple regression modelling was used to correct for differences between the two groups.

Results: 46 patients were included in the before group, 26 patients in the after group. One month mortality decreased from 39.13% to 3.85% (p < 0.001). After correction for confounding variables, one-month mortality was significantly higher in the before group (p = 0.02, OR 8.86 (1.46, 53.75)). The cumulative incidence of VTE and CRRT was respectively 41% and 30.4% in the before group and dropped to 15% (p = 0.03) and 3.8% (p = 0.01), respectively. After correction for confounding variables, risk of VTE (p = 0.03, 6.01 (1.13, 32.12)) and CRRT (p = 0.02, OR 19.21 (1.44, 255.86)) remained significantly higher in the before group.

Conclusion: Mortality, cumulative risk of VTE and need for CRRT may be significantly reduced in COVID-19 patients by implementation of a more aggressive thromboprophylaxis protocol. Future research should focus on confirmation of these results in a randomized design and on uncovering the mechanisms underlying these observations.

Registration number: NCT04394000.

Keywords: COVID-19; Continuous renal replacement therapy; Mortality; Thromboprophylaxis; Venous thromboembolism.

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