A professor of pharmacy at U of Toronto sent this clearly worded
update to his family.
For this pandemic, there’s a greater chance of survival for those
getting infected 3 months later like June 2020 than those who got
infected 3 months earlier, say February 2020. The reason for this is
that Doctors and scientists know more about Covid-19 now than 3
months ago and hence are able to treat patients better. I will list
5 important things that we know now that we didn’t know in
February 2020 for your understanding.
- COVID-19 was initially thought to cause deaths due to pneumonia-a
lung infection – and so ventilators were thought to be the best way
to treat sick patients who couldn’t breathe. Now we are realizing
that the virus causes blood clots in the blood vessels of the lungs
and other parts of the body and this causes reduced oxygenation. Now
we know that just providing oxygen by ventilators will not help. We
have to prevent and dissolve the micro clots in the lungs. This is
why we are using drugs like Aspirin and Heparin ( blood thinners
that prevent clotting) as a protocol in treatment regimens in June
- Previously patients used to drop dead on the road or even before
reaching a hospital due to reduced oxygen in their blood. This
called HAPPY HYPOXIA — where even though the oxygen saturation was
gradually reducing, the COVID-19 patients did not have symptoms
until it became critically less, like sometimes even 70%. Normally
we become breathless if oxygen saturation reduces below 90%. This
breathlessness is not triggered in COVID patients so we were late in
getting sick patients to hospitals in February 2020.
Now since knowing about happy hypoxia we are monitoring oxygen
saturation of all COVID patients with a simple home use pulse
oximeter and getting them to the hospital if their oxygen saturation
drops to 93% or less. This gives doctors time to correct the oxygen
deficiency in the blood and there is a better survival chance in
- We did not have drugs to fight the coronavirus in February 2020.
We were only treating the complications caused by it… hypoxia.
Hence most patients became severely infected. Now we have 2
important medicines FAVIPIRAVIR & REMDESIVIR. These ANTIVIRALS can
kill the coronavirus. By using these two medicines we can prevent
patients from becoming severely infected and therefore cure them
BEFORE THEY GO TO HYPOXIA. This is knowledge that is available in
JUNE 2020… not in February 2020.
- Many Covid-19 patients die not just because of the virus but also
due to the patient’s own immune system responding In an
exaggerated manner called CYTOKINE STORM. This stormy immune
response not only kills the virus but also kills the patients. In
February 2020 we didn’t know how to prevent it from happening. Now
in June 2020, we know that Steroids, that doctors around the world
have been using for almost 80 years, can be used to
prevent the cytokine storm in some patients.
- Now we also know that people with hypoxia became better just by
making them lie down on their belly- known as prone position. Apart
from this a few days ago Israeli scientists have discovered that a
chemical known as Alpha Defensin produced by the patients White
blood cells can cause the micro clots in blood vessels of the lungs
and this can be treated with Colchicine which has used over many
decades in the treatment of Gout.
So now we know for sure that patients have a better chance at
surviving the COVID-19 infection in June 2020 than in February 2020.
Going forward there’s nothing to panic about Covid-19 if we
remember that a person who gets infected now has a better chance at
survival than one who got infected early.
Let’s continue to follow precautions, wear masks and practice
social distancing. Please distribute this message, as we all need
some positive news.