New guideline to help identify and treat Covid vaccine blood clotting

HEALTHCARE staff can now refer to new guidance to help them identify and treat patients who develop the rare blood-clotting condition associated with Covid-19 vaccination.

NICE has published a new rapid Covid-19 guideline for dealing with vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT).

Although the condition is extremely rare – with only 14.2 cases occurring per million doses of Covid-19 vaccine – it can be very serious and requires swift diagnosis and urgent treatment.

The new guideline outlines how to identify people with suspected VITT, and what tests should be carried out to confirm they have it. The recommendations also cover treatment options for people with VITT depending on how serious their syndrome is and how their symptoms react to treatment.

Healthcare staff are advised to immediately refer anyone with suspected VITT who is acutely unwell to the emergency department (ED). If the person is not acutely unwell, and results can be obtained and reviewed on the same day, a full blood count should be performed in primary care. Anyone showing a low platelet count should be referred to the ED that day.

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of NICE’s Centre for Guidelines, said: "Although VITT is a very rare condition, it’s crucial that healthcare professionals feel supported and able to swiftly identify and treat the small number of people who do develop it.

"This is a living guideline, which can be continuously updated to incorporate the latest evidence and keep abreast of new developments."

Read the full guideline

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