Editor’s Note: In critical cases of COVID-19, the elderly have the best chance of survival by means of a ventilator. What’s particularly frightening in the current pandemic in the US is the inadequate number of hospital beds as well as ventilators. The following article about a stopgap treatment option for the critically ill, using an existing drug, is therefore very hopeful.
“Researchers at MIT and the University of Colorado at Denver have proposed a stopgap measure that they believe could help Covid-19 patients who are in acute respiratory distress. By repurposing a drug that is now used to treat blood clots, they believe they could help people in cases where a ventilator is not helping, or if a ventilator is not available.
“Three hospitals in Massachusetts and Colorado are developing plans to test this approach in severely ill Covid-19 patients. The drug, a protein called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is commonly given to heart attack and stroke victims. The approach is based on emerging data from China and Italy that Covid-19 patients have a profound disorder of blood clotting that is contributing to their respiratory failure.
“If this were to work, which I hope it will, it could potentially be scaled up very quickly, because every hospital already has it in their pharmacy,” says Michael Yaffe, a David H. Koch Professor of Science at MIT. “We don’t have to make a new drug, and we don’t have to do the same kind of testing that you would have to do with a new agent. This is a drug that we already use. We’re just trying to repurpose it.”
Read full article here:
“COVID-19: Stopgap Measure Proposed for Respiratory Distress“