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J Am Coll Clin Pharm ; 4(9): 1117-1125, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233199


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in unprecedented pressure on healthcare systems and led to widespread utilization of telemedicine or telehealth services. Combined with teleclinics, using drive-up fingerstick International normalized ratio (INR) testing was recommended to decrease exposure risk of anticoagulation patients. Objective: To evaluate the impact of transitioning from clinic-based anticoagulation management services to drive-up and phone-based services during COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar. Methods: The study comprised of two components: a retrospective cohort study of all eligible patients who attended anticoagulation clinic over 1-year period (6 months before and 6 months after service transition) and a cross-sectional survey of eligible patients who agreed to provide data about their satisfaction with the new service. Monitoring parameters, clinical outcomes, and resource utilization related to warfarin therapy were compared before and after service transition. Patients' experience was explored through a structured survey. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between clinic-based and phone-based anticoagulation services in mean time and number of visits within therapeutic range (P = .67; P = .06 respectively); mean number of extreme subtherapeutic and supratherapeutic INR values (P = .32 and P = .34, respectively); incidence of thromboembolic complications and warfarin related hospitalization. There was one reported bleeding and one emergency visit (0.9%) in the phone-based group vs none in the clinic-based group. Frequency of INR testing and compliance to attending clinics appointments declined significantly (P = .002; P = .001, respectively). Overall, patients were highly satisfied with the new service. The majority of patients found it better (51.6%) or just as good as the traditional service (44.5%). Patients who preferred the new service were significantly younger than their counterparts (P = .005). Conclusion: The service of drive-up INR testing and phone-based consultations was shown to be comparable to traditional anticoagulation service, a finding that supports maintaining such services as part of the new normal after the pandemic is over.

Front Cardiovasc Med ; 7: 598846, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067650


Background: Recent studies revealed a high prevalence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) events in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, especially in those who are critically ill. Available studies report varying prevalence rates. Hence, the exact prevalence remains uncertain. Moreover, there is an ongoing debate regarding the appropriate dosage of thromboprophylaxis. Methods: We performed a systematic review and proportion meta-analysis following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We searched PubMed and EMBASE for studies exploring the prevalence of VTE in critically ill COVID-19 patients till 25/07/2020. We pooled the proportion of VTE. Additionally, in a subgroup analysis, we pooled VTE events detected by systematic screening. Finally, in an exploratory analysis, we compared the odds of VTE in patients on prophylactic compared with therapeutic anticoagulation. Results: The review comprised 24 studies and over 2,500 patients. The pooled proportion of VTE prevalence was 0.31 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24, 0.39; I 2 94%], of VTE utilizing systematic screening was 0.48 (95% CI 0.33, 0.63; I 2 91%), of deep venous thrombosis was 0.23 (95% CI 0.14, 0.32; I 2 96%), and of pulmonary embolism was 0.14 (95% CI 0.09, 0.20; I 2 90%). Exploratory analysis of few studies, utilizing systematic screening, VTE risk increased significantly with prophylactic, compared with therapeutic anticoagulation [odds ratio (OR) 5.45; 95% CI 1.90, 15.57; I 2 0%]. Discussion: Our review revealed a high prevalence of VTE in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Almost 50% of patients had VTE detected by systematic screening. Higher thromboprophylaxis dosages may reduce VTE burden in this patient's cohort compared with standard prophylactic anticoagulation; however, this is to be ascertained by ongoing randomized controlled trials.

J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 51(2): 297-300, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-629199


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic affecting many countries worldwide. Given the increasing incidence especially in elderly and individuals with comorbid conditions, it is advised by health authorities to stay home if possible, maintain social distancing and stay away from those who are sick or could be infected. Patients with comorbidities especially cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19 and have worse prognosis. Among efforts to safely manage warfarin patients during this pandemic, we introduced a hospital drive-up anticoagulation testing service. This service can reduce the risk of exposure of anticoagulation patients to COVID-19 by reducing the contact time with the different personnel at the hospital and by maintaining those patients at a safe distance from others.

Ambulatory Care Facilities , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/drug therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Warfarin , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Monitoring, Physiologic , Qatar/epidemiology , Warfarin/administration & dosage , Warfarin/pharmacokinetics