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Blood Test May Determine Survival of Critically Ill Covid Patients

Blood Test May Determine Chances of Critically Ill Covid Patients Surviving The Disease, Doctors Say

  • German scientists analyzed the blood of 50 seriously ill Covid patients
  • They found 14 proteins where they could indicate how much risk someone was running
  • Researchers said the test could help doctors determine which patients should be treated



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Doctors could one day determine the survival rates of critically ill Covid patients through a simple blood test.

German and Austrian scientists analyzed blood samples from 50 hospitalized patients. They found 14 proteins — mostly linked to inflammation and blood clots — that were associated with an increased risk of death.

Researchers then created an AI program to predict patient survival based solely on searching the blood samples for levels of the proteins.

Preliminary results showed that the test was accurate.

Academics said the test could help doctors find patients who needed the most care so they can be prioritized.

Intensive care unit of the University of Strasbourg, France, this year.  Doctors say they have developed a blood test that could help determine which patients are most at risk for Covid

Intensive care unit of the University of Strasbourg, France, this year. Doctors say they have developed a blood test that could help determine which patients are most at risk for Covid

Switching off one protein on Covid could make it much less harmful, study says

Switching off just one protein on Covid could make it much less harmful, scientists say.

Washington State University researchers said the virus uses NS2 to turn off a cell’s defenses, allowing it to cause infection.

But – they said – if this protein is removed, the cell can quickly destroy the invading virus.

Professor Kim Chiok, of the WSU who led the study, said NS2 could “turn off” a cell’s defenses.

She said other viruses besides Covid also use NS2.

These include the flu and RSV — both of which are seasonal threats.

The participants were either admitted to the intensive care unit at the Charite University Hospital in Berlin, or the Medical University Innsbruck in Austria.

Blood samples were taken from all participants up to three times a week.

Of the patients who took part in the study, 15 died about 28 days after being hospitalized.

The remaining 35 survived and were released from the hospital after about two months.

Patients were admitted during the first wave of the pandemic.

Doctors involved in the study said the test should be evaluated on a larger sample.

They added that it could be used for critically ill patients suffering from seasonal viruses other than Covid.

Co-author Professor Florian Kurth, from Charite University Hospital, Berlin, said: ‘The clinical picture of Covid is exceptionally diverse – ranging from asymptomatic to very serious illness and death.

“It is difficult for doctors to estimate a patient’s individual risk of deterioration or death.”

Currently, intensive care units rely on the APACHE scoring system to detect the most unwell patients.

It is applied within 24 hours of admission to the specialist unit and looks at factors such as heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature and white blood cell count.

It comes amid stacks of studies showing that Britain’s now-dominant Covid variant, Omicron, is much milder than its predecessors.

The number of hospital admissions in Britain has stabilized at half the level of the previous wave – with around 2,000 admissions a day – amid the current wave.

But the number of intensive care admissions has barely increased with stacks of studies showing that the variant is milder than its predecessors.

Scientists say it’s likely new variants will emerge that are even milder than Omicron but more transmissible, allowing ministers to focus on “living with” the virus.

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