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Researchers with Intermountain begin COVID-19 study

Posted at 5:14 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 19:14:55-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Researchers with Intermountain Healthcare are working on a treatment study focused on people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are not sick enough to be hospitalized.

“A lot of the research on COVID-19 looks at the sickest of the sick, those patients who are in the ICU or on ventilators. This study is unique because it focuses on people who have never been admitted to the hospital,” Dr. Sarah Majercik, trauma surgeon at Intermountain Healthcare and principal investigator of the Utah study, said.

The study is looking at how COVID-19 may lead to small blood clots and what preventative measures can be taken to prevent them from forming. Blood clots have been found in COVID-19 patients in the heart, brain, lungs, legs and other areas, Dr. Joseph Bledsoe, director of research in the department of emergency medicine at Intermountain Healthcare

“These blood clotting complications are thought to be the cause of clinical deterioration or even death in patients with covid-19,” he said.

Utahns with COVID-19 will be some of the first in the world to participate in the nationwide study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and is part of Operation Warp Speed.

Researchers are looking to determine whether a dose of aspirin or blood thinners will prevent the formation of blood clots in people with COVID-19.

“The information that we get may help doctors keep patients out of the hospital and may even help prevent some of the long-term complications we are seeing,” Dr. Majercik said.

This could also help determine why come people become COVID-19 Long Haulers.

“A lot of the long-term complications that we have seen with COVID-19 may be due to the clots themselves or from the inflammation that is sequelae of them. We think that all of this is in parcel of the same process of all sorts of different systems of the body,” Dr. Majercik said.

Researchers are looking for people between the ages of 40 and 80 who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, who have not been hospitalized. Participants with either receive aspirin, a blood thinner medication or a placebo for 45 days. Participants will continue to speak with researchers even after they stop taking the medication, for a total of 75 days.

Intermountain is looking to have hundreds of participants, with a goal of seven thousand participants nationwide. The study will run through March 2021. Participants will receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Anyone interested in participating in the study should email