Severe blood clotting and high bleeding risk identified in critically ill COVID-19 patients

Emerging data is pointing to a faulty blood clotting system in the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. Patients with underlying health problems are presenting a severe risk of VTE (blood clotting) – previously an unknown risk factor – as well as an increased bleed risk. The NHS Supply Chain has now placed a significant order for an innovative British medical device – the geko™ – to help prevent severe blood clotting in at-risk patients.

Typical VTE prevention methods include intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) sleeves or pharmacological intervention (blood thinning drugs). The geko™ device is to be used in combination with drugs or when drugs and other methods are impractical or contraindicated – for example, some patients may not be suitable for compression devices if they have fragile skin, a recent wound, ulcer or graft, or an allergy to the materials.

Importantly, the geko™ device takes just 60 seconds to fit, requiring minimal nurse-to-patient contact and therefore less exposure to the COVID-19 virus load (reducing the risk of infection transmission).

We are grateful to the NHS for all that they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances, and incredibly honored to support this national effort against the clinical impact of COVID-19, which is made extremely complicated by an abnormally high VTE risk and high bleed risk in immobile, critically ill patients. It’s like nothing that has been seen before.”

Bernard Ross, Founder & CEO, Sky Medical Technology

Clinicians treating critically ill COVID-19 patients are seeing widespread blood clotting throughout the body, an increased bleed risk and difficulties across the immune system. The blood clots can lead to life threatening multi-organ failure in sedated COVID-19 patients with a limited ability to move as they heal.

The urgent need now is for thorough and effective risk assessment, and clinicians are working hard to determine the best way to prevent and manage clot formation in the most critically ill COVID-19 patients, using safe and effective methods.”

Bernard Ross

A retrospective study in Shanghai, China, was the first to report the high VTE risk and bleed risk – data showed a 20 per cent incidence rate of VTE in critically ill COVID-19 patients – calling for more effective risk assessment and prevention strategies.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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