Yale researchers develop blood test to determine which COVID-19 patients get sickest


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Yale researchers may have unlocked a clue to help hospitalized COVID patients. They have developed a blood test to determine which patients admitted to hospital emergency rooms will have the most severe outcomes. They developed it using blood taken from hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

“Using blood collected from over 100 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 including some who recovered quickly and went home as those who had severe illness including transfer to the ICU and requiring breathing tube treatment,” describes Dr. Hyung Chun, Yale medicine cardiologist and director of translational research.

Dr. Chun says they were able to identify what he calls a rather distinct signal in the blood highly associated with the likely hood of developing severe illness from COVID-19.

“What was exciting to us is that many of these patients were elevated before these patients developed their severe illness,” says Dr. Chun.

Treating those most at risk could be key to saving their lives.

Dr. Chun says factors represent markers of a specific aspect of the body’s immune response. They are usually beneficial to people with infections, but with COVID-19, they have the opposite effect, making the disease worse.

And researchers are trying to figure out the connection between COVID and blood clots.

“There is now data that using blood thinners in specific groups of patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 may be beneficial, but in other groups of patients, they may not be that helpful.”

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