CORONAVIRUS patients who take aspirin are “47 per cent less likely to die” than those who don’t take the pain relief, researchers have claimed.
The low-dose pill could also lower the chances of a patient being admitted to intensive care or being placed on a ventilator by more than 40 per cent.
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Experts at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) looked at the health records of 412 coronavirus patients.
The patients had been treated for the virus at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore – as well as three other hospitals along the East Coast of America.
The study, published in the journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia revealed that about one quarter of the patients had been taking low-dose aspirin either before or right after they were admitted to hospital.
The patients had been taking the pain killer in order to manage cardiovascular disease.
The experts, led by Dr Jonathan Chow, assistant professor of anesthesiology at UMSOM, found that participants who took the aspirin were 47 per cent less likely to die in hospital from the virus – compared to those who were not taking the drug.
The study also found that those taking the aspirin daily had a lowered risk of being admitted to intensive care – by 43 per cent.
It also lowered the risk of the patients being put on a mechanical ventilator by 44 per cent.
Dr Chow said that the findings of the study need to be confirmed through randomised clinical trials.
He added: “If our finding is confirmed, it would make aspirin the first widely available, over-the-counter medication to reduce mortality in Covid-19 patients.”
The researchers added that there was no difference between patients who were in the aspirin group – to those who were not when it came to side-effects of the drug such as bleeding.
Scientists are still trying to find a vaccine for the virus and it was revealed yesterday that stocks of a vaccine could be delivered to London hospitals as soon as next week.
Patients diagnosed with Covid-19 may want to consider taking a daily aspirin as long as they check with their doctor first
However this would only be rolled out to a small number of people and the development of aspirin could sit alongside treatments such as dexamethasone as a treatment for patients.
Covid is a disease that attacks the lungs and can also increase the risk of dangerous blood clots.
These clots can form in blood vessels, lungs and the heart and can be deadly for patients.
The use of aspirin helps stop the blood clots – it is sometimes used to treat heart disease and is also used to treat inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease.
Writing in the study, Dr Michael Mazzeffi said that the use of blood thinning qualities present in aspirin benefits Covid patients by preventing the formation of clots.
He said: “Patients diagnosed with Covid-19 may want to consider taking a daily aspirin as long as they check with their doctor first.”
The researchers highlighted that while aspirin is not made to be used as a preventative measure against Covid-19 it could help patients who have underlying health conditions and are therefore more at risk of dying or suffering from serious complications from the disease.
They added: “This study adds to the tremendous work our researchers are doing in the School of Medicine to help find new treatments against Covid-19 and save patients' lives.
“While confirmatory studies are needed to prove that aspirin use leads to better outcomes in Covid-19, the evidence thus far suggests that patients may want to discuss with their doctor whether it is safe for them to take aspirin to manage potentially prevent serious complications.”
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