SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL / KMSS) – LSU Health in Shreveport is among the first centers in the United States to enroll patients in an international study to test the use of nitric oxide to improve outcomes for COVID patients -19 with severely damaged lungs.
The Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Faculty of LSU Health of the Department of Medicine will perform the tests using inhaled nitric oxide gas, hopefully to effectively kill the coronvirus in damaged lungs and improve the intake of oxygen to injured tissue.
“It was previously suggested that inhaled nitric oxide reduced the original infectiousness of SARS-CoV over a decade ago, but its effect on SARS-CoV2 remains unknown. In addition, research by LSU Health Shreveport has shown that nitric oxide is a powerful protector against tissue hypoxia, which occurs during a severe Covid-1 infection, “said Dr. Chris Kevil, vice-chancellor of research at LSU Health Shreveport.
The Department of Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Cardiology Division of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) join the Faculty of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine at study. United States to enroll patients in the study.
Keith Scott, MD, MSc, FCCM, principal investigator for the nitric oxide clinical trial, said, “We are extremely confident that this therapy will change the devastating effects of CoVID-19, but we need to test it.”
Scott said the gas was already approved by the FDA, so if the results of the study prove promising, “Widespread use could begin immediately. “
Steven Conrad, MD, PhD, MS, ME, MBA, MSST, MSC, works with Scott on the trial. Scott said Conrad “brings a wealth of research experience and knowledge to working with critically ill patients.”
In Italy, during the COVID-19 epidemic, the gas was used in less controlled study conditions; However, according to Dr. Lorenzo Berra, an intensive care specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who directs the new trial, the treatment appeared to significantly increase the oxygen levels in the blood of patients with COVID-19. But, he added, more rigorous testing is needed to clarify the contribution of nitric oxide.
Colorless and odorless gas, nitric oxide is inhaled through a mask or potentially through a small flute. It can also be useful in protecting healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic disease.
A second proposed trial, still under review by a Massachusetts General Hospital research group, would recruit healthcare workers who are regularly exposed to patients with COVID-19 and who are themselves at high risk for infection. For 10 to 15 minutes at the start and end of each shift, doctors and nurses pulled a portable device and inhaled a large dose of nitric oxide.
In humans, nitric oxide is naturally generated by blood vessels and certain brain cells. It helps regulate blood pressure, gobbles up invading toxins, and prevents platelets in the blood from forming clots that can be significantly compromised during times of stress, including infection, justifying the need for additional supplies.
When inflammation, emphysema, or a disease like cystic fibrosis attacks the lungs, large blood vessels, and tiny capillaries that release oxygen. Inhaled nitric oxide also relaxes these vessels, increasing oxygen transfer to the blood and lightening the workload of the heart.
Physicians who wish a patient to access this clinical trial should send an email to [email protected] with relevant details about the patient.
More COVID-19 clinical trials will be announced soon.
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