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PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333831


BACKGROUND: Heparin, in addition to its anticoagulant properties, has anti-inflammatory and potential anti-viral effects, and may improve endothelial function in patients with Covid-19. Early initiation of therapeutic heparin could decrease the thrombo-inflammatory process, and reduce the risk of critical illness or death. METHODS: We randomly assigned moderately ill hospitalized ward patients admitted for Covid-19 with elevated D-dimer level to therapeutic or prophylactic heparin. The primary outcome was a composite of death, invasive mechanical ventilation, non-invasive mechanical ventilation or ICU admission. Safety outcomes included major bleeding. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. RESULTS: At 28 days, the primary composite outcome occurred in 37 of 228 patients (16.2%) assigned to therapeutic heparin, and 52 of 237 patients (21.9%) assigned to prophylactic heparin (odds ratio, 0.69;95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43 to 1.10;p=0.12). Four patients (1.8%) assigned to therapeutic heparin died compared with 18 patients (7.6%) assigned to prophylactic heparin (odds ratio, 0.22;95%-CI, 0.07 to 0.65). The composite of all-cause mortality or any mechanical ventilation occurred in 23 (10.1%) in the therapeutic heparin group and 38 (16.0%) in the prophylactic heparin group (odds ratio, 0.59;95%-CI, 0.34 to 1.02). Major bleeding occurred in 2 patients (0.9%) with therapeutic heparin and 4 patients (1.7%) with prophylactic heparin (odds ratio, 0.52;95%-CI, 0.09 to 2.85). CONCLUSIONS: In moderately ill ward patients with Covid-19 and elevated D-dimer level, therapeutic heparin did not significantly reduce the primary outcome but decreased the odds of death at 28 days. Trial registration numbers: NCT04362085 ;NCT04444700.

EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294726


Objectives To assess the effectiveness of prone positioning to reduce the risk of death or respiratory failure in non-critically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19 Design Pragmatic randomized clinical trial of prone positioning of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across 15 hospitals in Canada and the United States from May 2020 until May 2021. Settings Patients were eligible is they had a laboratory-confirmed or a clinically highly suspected diagnosis of COVID-19, required supplemental oxygen (up to 50% fraction of inspired oxygen [FiO2]), and were able to independently prone with verbal instruction. ( NCT04383613 ). Main Outcome Measures The primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital death, mechanical ventilation, or worsening respiratory failure defined as requiring at least 60% FiO2 for at least 24 hours. Secondary outcomes included the change in the ratio of oxygen saturation to FiO2 (S/F ratio). Results A total of 248 patients were included. The trial was stopped early on the basis of futility for the pre-specified primary outcome. The median time from hospital admission until randomization was 1 day, the median age of patients was 56 years (interquartile range [IQR] 45,65), 36% were female, and 90% of patients were receiving oxygen via nasal prongs at the time of randomization. The median time spent prone in the first 72 hours was 6 hours total (IQR 1.5,12.8) for the prone arm compared to 0 hours (0,2) in the control arm. The risk of the primary outcome was similar between the prone group (18 [14.3%] events) and the standard care group (17 [13.9%] events), odds ratio 0.92 (95% CI 0.44 to 1.92). The change in the S/F ratio after 72 hours was similar for patients randomized to prone compared to standard of care. Conclusion Among hypoxic but not critically patients with COVID-19 in hospital, a multifaceted intervention to increase prone positioning did not improve outcomes. Adherence to prone positioning was poor, despite multiple efforts. Subsequent trials of prone positioning should aim to develop strategies to improve adherence to awake prone positioning. What is already known on this topic Prone positioning is considered standard of care for mechanically ventilated patients who have severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. Recent data suggest prone positioning is beneficial for patients with COVID-19 who are requiring high flow oxygen. It is unknown of prone positioning is beneficial for patients not on high flow oxygen. What this study adds Prone positioning is generally not well tolerated and innovative approaches are needed to improve adherence. Clinical and physiologic outcomes were not improved with prone positioning among hypoxic but not critically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-6248


'Federated Learning' (FL) is a method to train Artificial Intelligence (AI) models with data from multiple sources while maintaining anonymity of the data thus removing many barriers to data sharing. During the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, 20 institutes collaborated on a healthcare FL study to predict future oxygen requirements of infected patients using inputs of vital signs, laboratory data, and chest x-rays, constituting the "EXAM" (EMR CXR AI Model) model. EXAM achieved an average Area Under the Curve (AUC) of over 0.92, an average improvement of 16%, and a 38% increase in generalisability over local models. The FL paradigm was successfully applied to facilitate a rapid data science collaboration without data exchange, resulting in a model that generalised across heterogeneous, unharmonized datasets. This provided the broader healthcare community with a validated model to respond to COVID-19 challenges, as well as set the stage for broader use of FL in healthcare.