Impact of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and interventions to contain the virus on society and patients with kidney disease in Cambodia.
Renal replacement therapy. 2021;(1):53
Cambodia detected its first case of COVID-19 just 3 days before WHO declared that the outbreak constituted as PHEIC. As of February 15, 2021, and after two major outbreaks, only 479 cases had been reported, 396 (83%) of which were imported. This small number of cases was largely thanks to stringent measures and policies put in place by the government to curb the spread. Despite these efforts, a third cluster outbreak was declared on February 20, 2021. It has disrupted all aspects of life in Cambodia. As in many other countries affected by the virus, economic hardship, lockdowns in cities, and food insecurity ensued. Against the backdrop of this widespread impact on the citizens of Cambodia, we conducted this review article to better understand the situation of healthcare workers in nephrology and dialysis patients and the challenge they face in providing and receiving essential medical care. Healthcare providers have continued working to serve their patients despite facing a high risk of catching SARS-CoV-2 and other challenges including difficulties in traveling to work, increased physical and mental burden, and higher stress due to measures taken to minimize the risk of transmission during patients' care. Some healthcare workers have been discriminated against by neighbors. The most difficult mission is when having to deal with families whose loved one is denied access to a hemodialysis session due to suspected COVID-19 while waiting for PCR test results. Hemodialysis patients reported facing economic hardship and increasingly difficult circumstances. When access to food is limited, patients have eaten canned or dried salted food rather than an appropriate hemodialysis diet. Because hemodialysis centers are concentrated in a few cities, access has become even harder during the travel ban. In-center hemodialysis rules are stricter and does not allow family members or escorts to enter the unit. Only a few hemodialysis patients have been vaccinated. Before COVID-19, hemodialysis patients already faced major burdens. The pandemic appears to be decreasing their quality of life and survival even further. Through this study, we have revealed current hardships and the need to improve the situations for both healthcare workers in nephrology and hemodialysis patients in Cambodia.
Clinical and Scientific Rationale for the "MATH+" Hospital Treatment Protocol for COVID-19.
Journal of intensive care medicine. 2021;(2):135-156
In December 2019, COVID-19, a severe respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China. The greatest impact that COVID-19 had was on intensive care units (ICUs), given that approximately 20% of hospitalized cases developed acute respiratory failure (ARF) requiring ICU admission. Based on the assumption that COVID-19 represented a viral pneumonia and no anti-coronaviral therapy existed, nearly all national and international health care societies' recommended "supportive care only" avoiding other therapies outside of randomized controlled trials, with a specific prohibition against the use of corticosteroids in treatment. However, early studies of COVID-19-associated ARF reported inexplicably high mortality rates, with frequent prolonged durations of mechanical ventilation (MV), even from centers expert in such supportive care strategies. These reports led the authors to form a clinical expert panel called the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (www.flccc.net). The panel collaboratively reviewed the emerging clinical, radiographic, and pathological reports of COVID-19 while initiating multiple discussions among a wide clinical network of front-line clinical ICU experts from initial outbreak areas in China, Italy, and New York. Based on the shared early impressions of "what was working and what wasn't working," the increasing medical journal publications and the rapidly accumulating personal clinical experiences with COVID-19 patients, a treatment protocol was created for the hospitalized patients based on the core therapies of methylprednisolone, ascorbic acid, thiamine, heparin and co-interventions (MATH+). This manuscript reviews the scientific and clinical rationale behind MATH+ based on published in-vitro, pre-clinical, and clinical data in support of each medicine, with a special emphasis of studies supporting their use in the treatment of patients with viral syndromes and COVID-19 specifically. The review concludes with a comparison of published multi-national mortality data with MATH+ center outcomes.
Impact of daily high dose oral vitamin D therapy on the inflammatory markers in patients with COVID 19 disease.
Scientific reports. 2021;(1):10641
COVID 19 is known to cause immune dysregulation and vitamin D is a known immunomodulator. This study aims to objectively investigate the impact of Pulse D therapy in reducing the inflammatory markers of COVID-19. Consented COVID-19 patients with hypovitaminosis D were evaluated for inflammatory markers (N/L ratio, CRP, LDH, IL6, Ferritin) along with vitamin D on 0th day and 9th/11th day as per their respective BMI category. Subjects were randomised into VD and NVD groups. VD group received Pulse D therapy (targeted daily supplementation of 60,000 IUs of vitamin D for 8 or 10 days depending upon their BMI) in addition to the standard treatment. NVD group received standard treatment alone. Differences in the variables between the two groups were analysed for statistical significance. Eighty seven out of one hundred and thirty subjects have completed the study (VD:44, NVD:43). Vitamin D level has increased from 16 ± 6 ng/ml to 89 ± 32 ng/ml after Pulse D therapy in VD group and highly significant (p < 0.01) reduction of all the measured inflammatory markers was noted. Reduction of markers in NVD group was insignificant (p > 0.05). The difference in the reduction of markers between the groups (NVD vs VD) was highly significant (p < 0.01). Therapeutic improvement in vitamin D to 80-100 ng/ml has significantly reduced the inflammatory markers associated with COVID-19 without any side effects. Hence, adjunctive Pulse D therapy can be added safely to the existing treatment protocols of COVID-19 for improved outcomes.