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TMH researchers join study to prevent life-threatening blood clots in COVID positive patients

Seeking community volunteers over 40
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 17:23:41-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A research team at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare has joined a national study to see if blood thinners can help prevent life-threatening blood clots from forming in COVID-positive patients not sick enough to be hospitalized.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is overseeing the study, researchers have found that many patients who died from COVID-19 had formed blood clots throughout their bodies. Blood clots that form in the blood vessels can travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body and trigger heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) and other life-threatening problems.

"If we could prevent clots from forming, we can potentially prevent a lot of complications in the aftermath and potentially prevent deaths from occurring," Claudia Kroker-Bode, MD, Ph.D., Program Director of the Florida State University Internal Medicine Residency Program at TMH said.

Dr. Kroker-Bode is the TMH site principal investigator for the ACTIV-4 Outpatient trial.

In the study, volunteers are asked to give a sample of their blood and to stay on blood-thinning medication for 45 days to see the effects it has.

Blood thinners, also known as antithrombotics or anticoagulants, help prevent blood clots from forming. These drugs have been used for many years to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in older adults who have been diagnosed with heart and blood vessel diseases.

This study, which is funded through the White House’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, is currently recruiting 7,000 participants at more than 100 sites worldwide to test the safety and effectiveness of blood thinners as a treatment for COVID-19.

Adults 40 and older who are COVID-19 positive in the Big Bend region who are interested in participating in the study should contact the TMH Office of Research at CovidResearch@TMH.ORG.

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