Table of Contents
Volume 2012, Article ID 720254, 8 pages
Review Article

Do Aspirin and Other Antiplatelet Drugs Reduce the Mortality in Critically Ill Patients?

1Center for Sepsis Control and Care, Jena University Hospital, Erlanger Allee 101, 07740 Jena, Germany
2Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Center for Sepsis Control and Care, University Hospital Jena, Bachstraße 18, Gebäude 12, Eingang A, 07743 Jena, Germany

Received 6 June 2011; Accepted 3 October 2011

Academic Editor: Jeanine M. Walenga

Copyright © 2012 Wolfgang Lösche et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Platelet activation has been implicated in microvascular thrombosis and organ failure in critically ill patients. In the first part the present paper summarises important data on the role of platelets in systemic inflammation and sepsis as well as on the beneficial effects of antiplatelet drugs in animal models of sepsis. In the second part the data of retrospective and prospective observational clinical studies on the effect of aspirin and other antiplatelet drugs in critically ill patients are reviewed. All of these studies have shown that aspirin and other antiplatelet drugs may reduce organ failure and mortality in these patients, even in case of high bleeding risk. From the data reviewed here interventional prospective trials are needed to test whether aspirin and other antiplatelet drugs might offer a novel therapeutic option to prevent organ failure in critically ill patients.