Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System.
The use of Hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment has become the focus of emotional and political controversy. The best use or non-use should just be a medical and scientific matter based on actual medical and scientific studies and data.
In a large-scale retrospective analysis of 2,541 patients hospitalized between March 10 and May 2, 2020 across the system’s six hospitals, the study found 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine alone died compared to 26.4% not treated with hydroxychloroquine. None of the patients had documented serious heart abnormalities; however, patients were monitored for a heart condition routinely pointed to as a reason to avoid the drug as a treatment for COVID-19.
The study seems to say that deaths are reduced by half if patients who are given treatment early. But it has to be patients without serious heart problems. They did not completely randomize the patients. It is not for all patients. So need to randomize the subset and control for steroids.
The combination of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin was reserved for selected patients with severe COVID-19 and with minimal cardiac risk factors.
There were other studies that did not show benefits for hydroxychloroquine. It doesn’t make those studies wrong or definitely a conflict. Henry Ford Health System looking at the nuanced data of which patients actually benefited and when. This might be able to further unlock the code of how this disease works. Hydroxychloroquine can help interfere with the virus directly and also reduces inflammation.
Reviewers of the paper noted:Cconcomitant steroid use in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine was more than double the non-treated group. This is relevant considering the recent RECOVERY trial that showed a mortality benefit with dexamethasone (Horby et al., 2020) among individuals requiring supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation, potentially biasing this study’s results in favor of hydroxychloroquine.
Nextbigfuture notes that dexamethasone only reduced mortality by 33%. So any combination of treatments that reduces mortality by 50% is an improvement.
The US Food and Drug Administration withdrew its emergency use authorization for the drug earlier in June and trials around the world, including trials sponsored by the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health, were halted.
The other major treatments that seem to be effective are a steroid (Dexamethasone), Gilead Remdesivir and blood thinners.
Authors of the Surgisphere Based Study That Reported Hydroxychloroquine Was Dangerous Was Retracted
In early June, the Lancet and the New Egland Journal of Medicine retracted influential studies that raised alarms about the safety of the experimental Covid-19 treatments chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine amid scrutiny of the data underlying the paper.
Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that has been safely used to treat Malaria and arthritis for many years.
Here is what the authors of the Surgisphere Based Study That Reported Hydroxychloroquine said when they retracted:
After publication of our Lancet Article, several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication. We launched an independent third-party peer review of Surgisphere with the consent of Sapan Desai to evaluate the origination of the database elements, to confirm the completeness of the database, and to replicate the analyses presented in the paper.
Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process.
We always aspire to perform our research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. We can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards. Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources. Due to this unfortunate development, the authors request that the paper be retracted.
SOURCES- International Journal for Infectious Disease
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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