Unusual Early Recovery of a Critical COVID-19 Patient After Administration of Intravenous Vitamin C.
The American journal of case reports. 2020;21:e925521
Plain language summary
Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to spread globally and to date there are no proven treatments. Current treatment focuses on the management of the associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). There are many studies demonstrating that in severe sepsis and ARDS; Vitamin C reduces systemic inflammation, prevents lung damage, reduces the duration of mechanical ventilation (MV) and the length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay in patients. This is a case report where a critically ill patient received high-dose Vitamin C intravenous (IV) infusions and recovered. A 74 year-old woman with Covid-19, developed ARDS and septic shock. Usual medications were given. She needed MV and deteriorated rapidly. On Day 7 she was administered Vitamin C (11g per 24 hours as a continuous IV infusion). Her clinical condition improved slowly after this. In this case, high dose IV Vitamin C was associated with fewer days on mechanical intervention, a shorter ICU stay and earlier recovery. These results show the importance of further investigation of IV Vitamin C to assess its efficacy in critically ill Covid-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation and ICU care.
BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread, with confirmed cases now in more than 200 countries. Thus far there are no proven therapeutic options to treat COVID-19. We report a case of COVID-19 with acute respiratory distress syndrome who was treated with high-dose vitamin C infusion and was the first case to have early recovery from the disease at our institute. CASE REPORT A 74-year-old woman with no recent sick contacts or travel history presented with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Her vital signs were normal except for oxygen saturation of 87% and bilateral rhonchi on lung auscultation. Chest radiography revealed air space opacity in the right upper lobe, suspicious for pneumonia. A nasopharyngeal swab for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 came back positive while the patient was in the airborne-isolation unit. Laboratory data showed lymphopenia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin, and interleukin-6. The patient was initially started on oral hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. On day 6, she developed ARDS and septic shock, for which mechanical ventilation and pressor support were started, along with infusion of high-dose intravenous vitamin C. The patient improved clinically and was able to be taken off mechanical ventilation within 5 days. CONCLUSIONS This report highlights the potential benefits of high-dose intravenous vitamin C in critically ill COVID-19 patients in terms of rapid recovery and shortened length of mechanical ventilation and ICU stay. Further studies will elaborate on the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C in critically ill COVID-19.