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Doctors Uncover COVID-19 Connections to Blood Clots, Dementia Using Epic

VERONA, Wis., Aug. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Treating a disease no one fully understands is one of the greatest challenges facing doctors who care for patients with COVID-19. With no playbook for treatment, best practices are a moving target. Doctors are looking for answers to questions like, "Is COVID-19 causing blood clots?" or "Is there a link between dementia and COVID-19?" Epic's SlicerDicer gives doctors the power to investigate questions and visualize trends instantly so they can zero in on important findings that change the course of treatment. "When doctors and researchers use SlicerDicer to dig into the data, we get answers to our questions a lot faster," said Michael Bolooki, MD, of Lee Health in Florida. "And when we make a discovery, we can share our investigation with colleagues to spur deeper research."Dr. Bolooki and his colleagues at Lee Health used Epic's tool to quickly verify early reports that COVID-19 can cause fatal blood clots despite its reputation as a respiratory disease. After several patients in their ICU died unexpectedly from blood clot complications in April, clinicians at Lee Health pulled up data on all their ICU patients with blood clots. They divided them into two groupsa??one with COVID-19, the other withouta??and checked for risk factors in each group. A graph instantly confirmed their suspicions: otherwise healthy patients with COVID-19 were three times more likely to develop blood clots. Armed with this information, Lee Health started encouraging clinicians to prescribe blood thinners for these higher-risk patientsa??saving lives that might have been lost during a slower investigation.
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