Solution for blood clots and platelet deficiency after injection with AstraZeneca

Researchers at the University of Greifswald in Germany have most likely found a solution for patients who develop the extremely rare combination of thrombosis and a sudden lack of platelets (thrombocytopenia) after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

It seems that patients who show these concomitant symptoms after the injection should be treated with other anticoagulants than the commonly used heparin, the Germans have discovered.

A Norwegian research group from the university hospital in Oslo came to a similar conclusion independently of the German researchers.

Heparin can cause HIT, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. When a patient develops HIT, the heparin causes a much too strong reaction of the immune system, causing the platelets to be used at a rapid rate and a shortage. In addition, the platelets also cause blood clots in the brain.

None of the seven German patients who developed the rare combination of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia had received heparin. In their case, the disease process may have been triggered by vaccination.

Great enthusiasm

“If you come across a patient with that ultra, ultra rare complication,” says thrombosis expert and head of internal medicine at Radboudumc Saskia Middeldorp, “you should immediately give an anticoagulant other than heparin and take a HIT test.”

Middeldorp is very enthusiastic about the discovery of her German colleague Andreas Greinacher and his team from the medical faculty of the University of Greifswald, in the far north of Germany near the Polish border.

“This is a discovery that can have enormous consequences, we now know what to do if this particular complication occurs in a patient. And we can allay the fear that has arisen from the reports of the occurrence of this complication. We have been emailing coagulation specialists internationally all afternoon about the implications of these findings. Everyone is very enthusiastic. “

Middeldorp emphasizes that the advice to resume vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine will not change. “The benefits really far outweigh the drawbacks. This possible side effect is really very rare.”

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