Vascular Disease Patient Information Page: COVID–19-related thrombosis

Alec A Schmaier, Alvin H Schmaier


COVID-19 can vary from causing no symptoms in some people to a life-threatening illness requiring intensive care and mechanical ventilation in others. COVID-19 affects the body in many different ways, including causing blood clots such as DVTs and PEs. Thrombosis in COVID-19 may be due to direct damage to blood vessels, ‘out-of-control’ inflammation, or other mechanisms that are not completely understood. Many patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 have ‘coagulopathy’ (a predisposition to form blood clots) that can be measured by laboratory testing. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are given thrombosis prophylaxis (blood thinners) to prevent blood clotting. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, in patients with COVID-19, thrombosis prophylaxis regimens have been altered to provide higher doses of preventive-dose blood thinners. These doses can be adjusted based on the degree of coagulopathy, as determined by laboratory testing. Full-intensity, treatment-dose anticoagulation is prescribed if there is a documented thrombosis or in certain patients with COVID-19 at very high risk for thrombosis. There is still much that doctors do not understand about COVID-19, and ongoing studies will provide understanding of the best ways to prevent and treat thrombosis in COVID-19.

anticoagulation, coronavirus disease (COVID-19), thrombosis

Vascular Medicine 2020, Vol. 25(6) 604–607
DOI: 10.1177/1358863X20963804
© The Author(s) 2020