Thomas Gallatin / May 5, 2020

Most Promising Treatment for COVID-19

Several critical-care physicians find the body’s immune response rather than the virus is killing people.

Frustrated with the CDC’s lack of consistent helpful information on treating COVID-19, a consortium of critical-care physicians representing the University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin, Eastern Virginia Medical School, the University of Texas, and several other schools banded together to provide recommended treatment protocols for the virus. At issue specifically for these front-line physicians is the way the coronavirus kills — or, perhaps more accurately, doesn’t kill — its victims.

As the protocol states: “It is the severe inflammation sparked by the Coronavirus, not the virus itself, that kills patients. Inflammation causes a new variety of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which damages the lungs.”

Dr. Paul Marik, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, recently published a Critical Care COVID Management Protocol in which he recommends as preventative treatments a cocktail of inexpensive vitamins that include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, and melatonin. He notes, “While there is no high-level evidence that this cocktail is effective; it is cheap, safe and widely available.”

In their treatment protocols, these doctors observe “three core pathologic processes lead to multi-organ failure and death in COVID-19.” They are: “hyper-inflammation, hyper-coagulability, and severe hypoxemia.” The protocols further explain:

The above pathologies are not novel, although the combined severity in COVID-19 disease is considerable. Our long-standing and more recent experiences show consistently successful treatment if traditional therapeutic principles of early and aggressive intervention is achieved, before the onset of advanced organ failure. It is our collective opinion that the historically high levels of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 is due to a single factor: the widespread and inappropriate reluctance amongst intensivists to employ anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant treatments, including corticosteroid therapy early in the course of a patient’s hospitalization. It is essential to recognize that it is not the virus that is killing the patient, rather it is the patient’s overactive immune system. The flames of the “cytokine fire” are out of control and need to be extinguished. Providing supportive care (with ventilators that themselves stoke the fire) and waiting for the cytokine fire to burn itself out simply does not work … this approach has FAILED and has led to the death of tens of thousands of patients.

The results are promising. The docs observe, “Our treatment protocol targeting these key pathologies has achieved near uniform success, if begun within 6 hours of a COVID19 patient presenting with shortness of breath or needing ≥ 4L/min of oxygen. If such early initiation of treatment could be systematically achieved, the need for mechanical ventilators and ICU beds will decrease dramatically.”

While a vaccine for COVID-19 is likely many months if not years away, implementing an effective treatment that would substantially lower if not almost eliminate the likelihood of infected individuals dying from virus complications may be the most practical and logical immediate step.

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