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Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis ; 33(5): 239-256, 2022 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891118


During sepsis, an initial prothrombotic shift takes place, in which coagulatory acute-phase proteins are increased, while anticoagulatory factors and platelet count decrease. Further on, the fibrinolytic system becomes impaired, which contributes to disease severity. At a later stage in sepsis, coagulation factors may become depleted, and sepsis patients may shift into a hypo-coagulable state with an increased bleeding risk. During the pro-coagulatory shift, critically ill patients have an increased thrombosis risk that ranges from developing micro-thromboses that impair organ function to life-threatening thromboembolic events. Here, thrombin plays a key role in coagulation as well as in inflammation. For thromboprophylaxis, low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) and unfractionated heparins (UFHs) are recommended. Nevertheless, there are conditions such as heparin resistance or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), wherein heparin becomes ineffective or even puts the patient at an increased prothrombotic risk. In these cases, argatroban, a direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI), might be a potential alternative anticoagulatory strategy. Yet, caution is advised with regard to dosing of argatroban especially in sepsis. Therefore, the starting dose of argatroban is recommended to be low and should be titrated to the targeted anticoagulation level and be closely monitored in the further course of treatment. The authors of this review recommend using DTIs such as argatroban as an alternative anticoagulant in critically ill patients suffering from sepsis or COVID-19 with suspected or confirmed HIT, HIT-like conditions, impaired fibrinolysis, in patients on extracorporeal circuits and patients with heparin resistance, when closely monitored.

COVID-19 , Sepsis , Thrombocytopenia , Thrombosis , Venous Thromboembolism , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Arginine/analogs & derivatives , Critical Illness , Heparin/adverse effects , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Pipecolic Acids , Sepsis/drug therapy , Sulfonamides , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Thrombosis/etiology , Thrombosis/prevention & control , Venous Thromboembolism/drug therapy
J Neurol ; 269(7): 3389-3399, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750705


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In 2020, a wide range of hygiene measures was implemented to mitigate infections caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In consequence, pulmonary infections due to other respiratory pathogens also decreased. Here, we evaluated the number of bacterial and viral meningitis and encephalitis cases during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: In a multicentre retrospective analysis of data from January 2016 until December 2020, numbers of patients diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and other types of CNS infections (such as viral meningitis and encephalitis) at 26 German hospitals were studied. Furthermore, the number of common meningitis-preceding ear-nose-throat infections (sinusitis, mastoiditis and otitis media) was evaluated. RESULTS: Compared to the previous years, the total number of patients diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis was reduced (n = 64 patients/year in 2020 vs. n = 87 to 120 patients/year between 2016 and 2019, all p < 0.05). Additionally, the total number of patients diagnosed with otolaryngological infections was significantly lower (n = 1181 patients/year in 2020 vs. n = 1525 to 1754 patients/year between 2016 and 2019, all p < 0.001). We also observed a decline in viral meningitis and especially enterovirus meningitis (n = 25 patients/year in 2020 vs. n = 97 to 181 patients/year between 2016 and 2019, all p < 0.001). DISCUSSION: This multicentre retrospective analysis demonstrates a decline in the number of patients treated for viral and pneumococcal meningitis as well as otolaryngological infections in 2020 compared to previous years. Since the latter often precedes pneumococcal meningitis, this may point to the significance of the direct spread of pneumococci from an otolaryngological focus such as mastoiditis to the brain as one important pathophysiological route in the development of pneumococcal meningitis.

COVID-19 , Encephalitis , Mastoiditis , Meningitis, Pneumococcal , Meningitis, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Meningitis, Pneumococcal/epidemiology , Meningitis, Pneumococcal/microbiology , Meningitis, Viral/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(5): 560-564, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102331


With increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 patients to be taken care of by the health system, more and more health workers become affected by the disease. It has been reported that right from the beginning of the outbreak in Lombardy up to 20% of the doctors and nurses became infected. Under these circumstances, the regular operation of health institutions already suffering from a shortage of staff becomes difficult. This has led to complete or partial shutdowns of hospitals, either due to a lack of uninfected personnel or because of uncontrollable chains of infection endangering patients. In one of the largest university perinatal center in Bavaria with more than 3000 births per year, an outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in March 2020, affecting 36 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and midwives. Here, we describe the outbreak and present the measures contributing to the successful containment of the outbreak within three weeks. At the same time, clinical services could be maintained, however, not without deployment of personnel exposed to employees infected with SARS-CoV-2. Apart from massive testing of personnel in pre-defined phases and increased hygiene measures, including a general obligation to wear surgical face masks, we identified the need to monitor cases of illness across all groups of employees, to ensure social distancing within personnel and to evaluate contacts of clinical personnel outside of the hospital environment, in order to be able to interpret chains of infections and to disrupt them. Overall, only a bundle of measures is needed to contain such an outbreak.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perinatal Care/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Female , Germany , Hand Hygiene , Hospitals, Maternity , Humans , Masks , Pregnancy , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation