Risk of blood clots found in the deep veins of coronavirus patients, study reveals

Scientists have found a high risk of a deep vein thrombosis or venous thromboembolism (VTE) and pulmonary embolism in hospitalised patients suffering from Covid-19.

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside your body. This condition is serious because blood clots can loosen and lodge in the lungs.

While hospitalised patients at general wards have a VTE risk between 5 and 11 percent, the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism in critically ill patients is 18 to 28 per cent, the study, published in the journal Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis, reported.

“From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, studies reported an increased rate of thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients with Covid-19,” said study author Cihan Ay from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

“Our study now offers a better understanding of the underlying risk and, therefore, aids in individual treatment decisions based on accurate risk assessment for the different patient groups,” Ay added.

For the findings, the research team assessed a total of 5,951 studies published in the field of VTE in Covid-19. Of those, 86 studies were found eligible for inclusion and reported rates of thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in Covid-19 patients. After excluding additional studies due to underlying risk of bias in a structured assessment, 66 studies (28,173 patients) were found eligible to perform a meta-analysis to provide a robust estimate on risk of VTE in Covid-19.

These findings underscore the strong impact of Covid-19 on the blood-clotting system.