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Studying post-hospitalization blood clotting in COVID-19

Milwaukee — September 08, 2023

Researchers were interested if blood thinners could prevent blood clots in patients discharged from the hospital after being treated for COVID-19.


It is well known among physicians and researchers that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have an increased risk of thromboembolism, or blood clots. Blood thinners are used to prevent blood clots while someone is in the hospital, but it was not known if blood thinner treatment should continue after someone was discharged from the hospital. Versiti Medical Director of Hematology and Versiti Blood Research Institute Investigator Lisa Baumann Kreuziger, MD, MS, was recently published in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine as part of a research study that sought to determine if anticoagulation treatments were superior in reducing death and thromboembolic complications in patients who were discharged after being hospitalized for COVID-19.

Research study

From 2021-2022, 127 U.S. hospitals conducted a randomized clinical trial on adults aged 18 and older who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 for 48 hours or more, and who were ready for discharge. Over 30 days post-hospitalization, patients received twice-daily doses of the anticoagulant apixaban. Researchers measured incidence of arterial thromboembolism, venous thromboembolism, bleeding and death.

Study results

Enrollment in the study was terminated early, primarily due to a lower-than-anticipated rate of blood clots after hospitalization for COVID-19, a declining rate of COVID-19 cases overall, and the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, prior to the study’s termination, researchers found that, of the 1,217 participants enrolled, the incidence of death or thromboembolism in patients discharged after hospitalization for COVID-19 was low.

About the expert: Lisa Baumann Kreuziger, MD, MS, is a medical director of hematology at Versiti, an investigator at Versiti Blood Research Institute, and an associate professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

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Lisa Baumann Kreuziger, MD, MS
Dr. Baumann Kreuziger is a medical director of hematology and investigator at Versiti Blood Research Institute who specializes in non-malignant hematology.
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Versiti Blood Research Institute investigators study blood disorders like hemophilia, blood cancers like leukemia, and other blood diseases.