Intermountain Healthcare joins national blood thinners study, needs hundreds of volunteers

Dec 2, 2020, 4:25 PM
(Spencer Moore with University of Utah Health, gathering a saliva sample at a testing center at Ric...
(Spencer Moore with University of Utah Health, gathering a saliva sample at a testing center at Rice Eccles Stadium. Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News, Nov. 30, 2020)
(Spencer Moore with University of Utah Health, gathering a saliva sample at a testing center at Rice Eccles Stadium. Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News, Nov. 30, 2020)

MURRAY, UT — Could blood thinners help prevent minor symptoms of COVID-19 from getting much worse?  Intermountain Healthcare researchers are joining a nationwide study that poses that question, and they are looking for hundreds of test subjects.

Researchers say there is a lot of work already being done which are investigating the symptoms of COVID-19.  However, most of those studies are focusing on the sickest of the sick.

“This study is unique because it focuses on patients who have never been admitted to a hospital,” said Dr. Sarah Majercik, a trauma surgeon with Intermountain Healthcare.

Why blood thinners might work

Doctors say microscopic blood clots in people who catch the virus may be partly to blame for their long-term symptoms.  These clots inhibit blood flow, and may lead to heart damage or neurological problems in seemingly healthy people.

“Some of the long-term complications that we’re hearing about, where people were previously healthy that continue to have longer pulmonary problems months and months down the road, may be because of these tiny blood clots,” Majercik said.

Researchers are looking for people who are between the ages of 40 and 80, and who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 but weren’t severe enough to be hospitalized.  In order to qualify, the patient has to have been diagnosed with the virus within two weeks of applying for the study.  Emergency Medicine Director of Research Joseph Bledsoe says they want to know if blood-thinning medications will have more potency if they catch the virus early.

“In many ways, a lot of COVID therapeutics that we’ve looked at tend to be more effective if you initiate them earlier in the process to help combat that inflammation before it ramps up and really gets started,” Bledsoe said.

What the study will entail

The research team needs 700 people to take part in this study. Participants will receive either aspirin, a placebo, or a drug called Apixaban which is already used to treat blood clots in legs. Apixaban is also used by patients who have knee or hip replacement surgeries.  The test subjects won’t be told which of these medications they’re taking.

“This is one of the first national NIH-[National Institutes of Health]  funded trials that allows us to enroll patients earlier in the disease course,” Bledsoe said.

However, doctors warn that people should not use blood-thinning medications on their own.  Bledsoe says many people used hydroxychloroquine after it was reported it may help COVID-19 patients, and many of those people damaged their own bodies.

Those who wish to take part in the study should email the Intermountain clinical investigators at

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Today’s Top Stories


Shortages of antivirals and antibiotics compound the stress of this year's early and severe respira...
Brenda Goodman and Raenu Charles, CNN

Shortages of antivirals, antibiotics compound stress of a rough season for viral illnesses in kids

Shortages of key medications used to treat common childhood illnesses like flu, ear infections, and sore throats are adding to the misery of this year's early and severe respiratory virus season.
3 days ago
Officials at Weber State University are considering a change to the student health services current...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Weber State University considers outsourcing student health care

Right now, the health center at Weber State provides low-cost care to students and does not require any form of insurance.
4 days ago
carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
4 days ago
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
4 days ago
mental health rural...
Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake Co. Council voting to fund temporary mental health receiving center

Salt Lake County Council will vote Tuesday morning on Funding for a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
5 days ago
Driven to Assist Season of Service by Larry H Miller....
Elizabeth Weiler and Waverly Golden

Companies around Utah offer free Thanksgiving meals and more

The Miller Foundation, Crossroads Urban Center, and Ken Garff are all offering Thanksgiving meals and other services for Thanksgiving.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Intermountain Healthcare joins national blood thinners study, needs hundreds of volunteers