Methods: The INHALEd nebulised unfractionated HEParin for the treatment of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (INHALE-HEP) metatrial is a prospective individual patient data analysis of on-going randomised controlled trials and early phase studies. Individual studies are being conducted in multiple countries. Participating studies randomise adult patients admitted to the hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, who do not require immediate mechanical ventilation, to inhaled nebulised UFH or standard care. All studies collect a minimum core dataset. The primary outcome for the metatrial is intubation (or death, for patients who died before intubation) at day 28. The secondary outcomes are oxygenation, clinical worsening and mortality, assessed in time-to-event analyses. Individual studies may have additional outcomes.
Analysis: We use a Bayesian approach to monitoring, followed by analysing individual patient data, outcomes and adverse events. All analyses will follow the intention-to-treat principle, considering all participants in the treatment group to which they were assigned, except for cases lost to follow-up or withdrawn.