Sanja Jelic is a critical care doctor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s step-down unit. She helped treat one of the worst outbreaks of her life on April 6 when a large surge of coronavirus patients came in for treatment. Jelic says she made a move that was unlike any someone in her position would have made.
While overseeing patients who waited for ventilators so they could breathe, she made the unorthodox decision to ask them to lie flat on their bellies. Doing so, she discovered that her patients, who were otherwise struggling to breathe, began to breathe better.
Though this isn’t a new way to treat those who struggle to breathe it was a risk to decide whether or not this treatment would be successful for patients of coronavirus. This treatment is commonly used to improve oxygenation in sedated patients on intubation, patients who suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Taking the step to try this method on coronavirus patients, therefore, is an important development for coronavirus treatment strategies.
Jelic recalls the first three patients she treated deploying this method. She says observed a massive improvement in their oxygen levels after making them lie on their bellies.
Coronavirus to this day has no absolute cure or vaccine proven officially to prevent it. Therefore doctors like Jelic rely on trial and error to learn new ways to treat the lethal disease. The collective experience from doctors working in the ICU everywhere is beginning to create a base for treatment plans.
Soumya Swaminathan is a chief scientist at the World Health Organization, she confirms that 1,000 coronavirus-research papers are being peer-reviewed and released daily. This is important because now more and more latest findings are making their way to hospitals to aid treatment.
As more and more research surfaces, another drug has reached the market with claims to help treat coronavirus.
Gilead Sciences Inc.’ antiviral drug Remdesivir is the drug in question and it has proved to hasten recovery time from coronavirus.
Among other findings that proved to be a successful part of coronavirus treatment, include heparin and other anticoagulants. Doctors have found that if administered routinely, they can prevent the formation of blood clots in coronavirus patients and thus reduce the chances of strokes.
Although the approach Jelic and her team used isn’t backed yet by properly carried out studies in any clinical trials, it stands as a cheap method that can easily be used to help overworked treatment centers. Their research is published in a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Jelic explains how the method works and why it is so successful. She says laying a patient down on their stomach increases blood circulation in the upper part of the lungs. Doing so increases the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. She adds that this position also decreases pressure on the lungs and can clear airways.
As more than 11 million people worldwide suffer from coronavirus, researchers are finding how far the virus can affect the human body. It can cause a variety of health issues including a dangerous multi-system inflammatory syndrome that is being reported in children as a result of coronavirus. Other symptoms and disorders linked to coronavirus include blood clotting disorders and strokes that can cost lives.
The Discovery of an improved coronavirus treatment is our only hope against this lethal virus. As more and more researches come to light, we may be able to form a successful strategy against this illness and in doing so save the lives of many.