Findings of the UK RECOVERY trial show that use of aspirin in the hope of reducing blood clotting in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 does not have any impact on survival.

The study assessed whether aspirin could help reduce blood clotting and therefore improve lung function and patient outcomes in severe cases of COVID-19.

The trial involved a cohort of nearly 15,000 hospitalised COVID-19 patients, of which 7,351 were randomised to receive 150mg aspirin once daily and 7,541 patients standard care alone.

The researchers found no evidence that aspirin treatment reduced mortality in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, with no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (17% aspirin vs. 17% usual care).

It was found that patients randomised to the aspirin group had a slightly shorter stay in hospital (median 8 days versus 9 days) and a higher proportion were discharged alive within 28 days (75% vs 74%).

The results also showed that there was no significant difference the proportion of patients who were not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at baseline who progressed to invasive mechanical ventilation or death (21% vs. 22%).

“While it is disappointing that aspirin has not been found to improve mortality for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, the trial has again contributed important evidence about what does and what does not work, data that can be used around the world,” said Dr William van’t Hoff, chief executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network.