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Aspirin’s Lung-Protective Effects May Decrease Ventilation, ICU Admission and Death in COVID-19 Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Aug 2021
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Researchers have found that aspirin may have lung-protective effects and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The study of the lung protective effects of aspirin by researchers from the George Washington University (Washington, D.C., USA) involved over 400 COVID-19 patients admitted from March to July 2020 to hospitals around the US. After adjusting for demographics and comorbidities, aspirin use was associated with a decreased risk of mechanical ventilation (44% reduction), ICU admission (43% reduction), and in-hospital mortality (47% reduction). There were no differences in major bleeding or overt thrombosis between aspirin users and non-aspirin users.

Preliminary findings were first published as a preprint in fall 2020. Since then, other studies have confirmed the impact aspirin can have on both preventing infection and reducing risk for severe COVID-19 and death. The researchers hope that this study leads to more research on whether a causal relationship exists between aspirin use and reduced lung injury in COVID-19 patients.

“As we learned about the connection between blood clots and COVID-19, we knew that aspirin – used to prevent stroke and heart attack – could be important for COVID-19 patients,” said Jonathan Chow, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and director of the Critical Care Anesthesiology Fellowship at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Our research found an association between low dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death.”

“Aspirin is low cost, easily accessible and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions,” added Chow. “Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19.”

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