Hemorrhage, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy, and Thrombosis Complications Among Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19: An International COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium Study

Fanning JP, Weaver N, Fanning RB, Griffee MJ, Cho SM, Panigada M, Obonyo NG, Zaaqoq AM, Rando H, Chia YW, Fan BE, Sela D, Chiumello D, Coppola S, Labib A, Whitman GJR, Arora RC, Kim BS, Motos A, Torres A, Barbé F, Grasselli G, Zanella A, Etchill E, Usman AA, Feth M, White NM, Suen JY, Li Bassi G, Peek GJ, Fraser JF, Dalton H
Crit Care Med. 2023;51

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and outcomes associated with hemorrhage, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, and thrombosis (HECTOR) complications in ICU patients with COVID-19. DESIGN: Prospective, observational study. SETTING: Two hundred twenty-nine ICUs across 32 countries. PATIENTS: Adult patients (≥ 16 yr) admitted to participating ICUs for severe COVID-19 from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: HECTOR complications occurred in 1,732 of 11,969 study eligible patients (14%). Acute thrombosis occurred in 1,249 patients (10%), including 712 (57%) with pulmonary embolism, 413 (33%) with myocardial ischemia, 93 (7.4%) with deep vein thrombosis, and 49 (3.9%) with ischemic strokes. Hemorrhagic complications were reported in 579 patients (4.8%), including 276 (48%) with gastrointestinal hemorrhage, 83 (14%) with hemorrhagic stroke, 77 (13%) with pulmonary hemorrhage, and 68 (12%) with hemorrhage associated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) cannula site. Disseminated intravascular coagulation occurred in 11 patients (0.09%). Univariate analysis showed that diabetes, cardiac and kidney diseases, and ECMO use were risk factors for HECTOR. Among survivors, ICU stay was longer (median days 19 vs 12; p < 0.001) for patients with versus without HECTOR, but the hazard of ICU mortality was similar (hazard ratio [HR] 1.01; 95% CI 0.92-1.12; p = 0.784) overall, although this hazard was identified when non-ECMO patients were considered (HR 1.13; 95% CI 1.02-1.25; p = 0.015). Hemorrhagic complications were associated with an increased hazard of ICU mortality compared to patients without HECTOR complications (HR 1.26; 95% CI 1.09-1.45; p = 0.002), whereas thrombosis complications were associated with reduced hazard (HR 0.88; 95% CI 0.79-0.99, p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: HECTOR events are frequent complications of severe COVID-19 in ICU patients. Patients receiving ECMO are at particular risk of hemorrhagic complications. Hemorrhagic, but not thrombotic complications, are associated with increased ICU mortality.