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ASH to Develop Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Anticoagulation in Patients with COVID-19

Society will convene panel of experts to make evidence-based recommendations to address blood clotting among COVID-19 patients

(WASHINGTON, May 12, 2020) — Coagulopathy, or abnormal blood clotting, has been reported as a complication associated with increased risk of death in patients with COVID-19. Evidence is emerging about the potential role of anticoagulation to prevent and treat this complication, including blood thinning medications or mechanical interventions such as intermittent compression devices. To support clinicians treating this complication, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) today announced that it will develop clinical practice guidelines on the use of anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19.

The guidelines will address four distinct populations of patients with COVID-19: acutely ill hospitalized patients; critically ill hospitalized patients (e.g., patients in the intensive care unit); patients after hospital discharge; and non-hospitalized patients.

A multidisciplinary, internationally representative panel will develop the guidelines based on currently available evidence, including indirect evidence from non-COVID-19 patients and early reports from observational studies. The evidence will be systematically reviewed and assessed for quality. Initial recommendations are expected to be published in three to six months. Guidelines will be updated as new evidence emerges.

“Abnormal blood clotting has been observed in those who have been infected with the virus, and these clots can be very dangerous and even life-threatening,” said ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “There is an urgent and critical need to provide guidance based on the best available evidence for those treating patients with this disease, recognizing also that there are different methods of anticoagulation and risks. Hematologists are experts at treating blood clotting and ASH has extensive experience with guidelines development, so by convening a panel of hematology experts as well as experts in other medical fields including infectious disease and critical care medicine, we will create evidence-based anticoagulation recommendations to assist those on the front lines of COVID-19 treatment.”

Direct evidence in patients with COVID-19 is expected later this year, as clinical trials now underway are expected to report results; the ASH guideline panel will update its recommendations as this direct evidence becomes available. ASH is accepting nominations for the guideline panel until May 15, 2020, including experts in infectious disease and critical care. Learn more here.

ASH previously issued guidelines in 2018 on venous thromboembolism in hospitalized patients as anticoagulation is a commonly used intervention to prevent blood clotting complications such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Additional Information:

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.

Leah Enser, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4927