In this photo provided by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, taken March 11, 2015 in the intensive care unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, physical therapist Katie Kellner helps patient Terry Culler do some exercises and briefly stand despite being hooked to a ventilator. There’s increasing evidence that mild exercise may have its place even for the sickest ICU patients, and new animal research suggests it may target both muscles and lungs. (AP Photo/Warren Cameron Dennis III, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center)
Dr. Stephen Smith, whom Fox News’ Laura Ingraham describes as one of the preeminent infectious disease specialists in the U.S., announced some very good news which, if true, would be a game changer in the fight against the Chinese coronavirus.
For those of us who are unfamiliar with some of the terms, he explained that when a patient goes into respiratory failure, they are intubated (they insert a tube into the patient’s trachea), and placed on a ventilator. He said that, so far, 20 of his patients have been intubated. And that has generally happened on day two.
Here is the great news. Dr. Smith said, “No person who has received five days or more of the hydroxychloroquine-zithro combination has been intubated. The chance of that occurring by chance [sic] according to my sons Leon and Hunter who did some stats for me are .000 something. It’s ridiculously low no matter how you look at it.”
Smith added, “We worry about selection bias in this situation. But I cannot think of a reason why, if all else is equal, why people that have received five days or more or even four days or more of this hydroxychloroquine-zithro regimen wouldn’t get intubated.”
He calls this “a game-changer. An absolute game-changer. I think this data goes to really support the French data” and went so far as to say, “Laura, I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”
During his briefing on Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters, “[The New York coronavirus death toll] is people who have been on a ventilator for a period of time. If you go on a ventilator there is roughly only a 20% chance that you will come off the ventilator. The longer you’re on the ventilator, the lower the chance you’ll come off…four/fifths of coronavirus patients who need ventilators will end up dead.” (Second video.)
So, Dr. Smith’s point is that, the sooner a patient begins the hydroxychloroquine-zithro therapy, the better their chances of avoiding intubation/ventilator, because once a patient gets to that point, the lower their chance of survival.
Finally, I wanted to show you a new CDC report that was highlighted on Fox on Wednesday. They found that 78% of ICU patients, and I imagine most, if not all, COVID-19 patients who are in ICU are on ventilators, have at least one underlying health problem.
In a Wednesday night appearance on “Hannity,” Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended gathering information on patients who were already taking hydroxychloroquine for arthritis, lupus, or any other illness for which it’s traditionally been prescribed. What percentage of this group has been infected? Is there a lower incidence of coronavirus among them as we might expect?
(The briefing begins at 55:00. Comments about ventilator statistics begin at 57:35.)