Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 01.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fabian Sanchis-Gomar, MD, MSc, PhD Department of Medicine Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, California Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Valencia INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute Valencia, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does the RAAS system interface with the COVID-19 virus? Response: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)2 is a functional receptor for coronaviruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The exponential growth of contagion by the SARS-CoV-2 all around the world has contributed to raising speculations and concerns about whether two commonly used anti-hypertensive drugs, i.e., ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), have positive or negative effects in coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”) patients with arterial hypertension on-going treatment with some of the former drugs. In effect, many professional health organizations have published statements claiming that there is not enough evidence to change the use of ACE-inhibitors or ARBs for the management of raised blood pressure (BP) in the context of avoiding or treating COVID-19 infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 31.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Carl Coleman, JD Professor of Law Seton Hall Law School MedicalResearch.com: Do health care workers have an ethical and/or legal obligation to provide treatment during an infectious disease outbreak? Are there exceptions such as pregnancy, if the health care worker is her/himself immunocompromised or have young children at home? Response: As a legal matter, health care workers can generally be required to fulfill pre-existing employment or contractual obligations during an infectious disease outbreak. For example, an emergency room nurse who refuses to come to work during a pandemic can be disciplined or fired; a physician who breaches a contractual obligation to provide on-call services during an outbreak can be held liable for damages. In addition to loss of employment and contractual damages, other potential consequences for failing to honor pre-existing commitments during a pandemic could include professional discipline for patient abandonment and, for physicians with on-call responsibilities in hospital emergency departments, civil fines under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. This does not mean that health care workers are obligated to show up for work during a pandemic regardless of the circumstances. For example, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, health care workers who are immunocompromised can ask for a "reasonable accommodation," such as the right to work remotely (if possible) or to take leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers with more than 50 employees must give workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to care for a seriously ill immediate family member. In addition, federal labor laws allow employees to refuse to work under "abnormally dangerous conditions," which might apply in situations where an employer fails to provide necessary protective equipment. However, assuming protective equipment is available, it is not clear that an outbreak itself would be considered "abnormally dangerous," particularly in fields like emergency medicine, where exposure to contagious disease is always a foreseeable risk. In most states, health care workers without pre-existing employment or contractual obligations cannot be compelled to treat patients during a pandemic. However, a few states have laws that authorize public health authorities to require health care professionals to work during public health emergencies. I am not aware of any state that has invoked this authority so far. As for ethical obligations, in 2004, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that "individual physicians have an obligation to provide urgent medical care during disasters," and that "this ethical obligation holds even in the face of greater than usual risks to their own safety, health or life." Some academic ethicists have expressed similar views. Common justifications for this position are that physicians "assumed the risk" of exposure to infectious diseases when they voluntarily committed themselves to the healing professions; that a "social contract" requires physicians to assume risks in exchange for their social status and privileges; and that individuals who are uniquely capable of providing life-saving care have an obligation to do so. However, I am not persuaded that all physicians -- let alone health care workers more generally -- have an ethical obligation to provide treatment when doing so involves significant risk. A willingness to accept risk is not a condition of obtaining a medical license, nor is it part of the oaths that students commonly take at medical school graduation. While I agree that physicians have ethical obligations to contribute to society, there are many ways they can fulfill these obligations without assuming personal health risks. And even assuming that individuals who are in a unique position to provide life-saving care should normally do so, we generally do not expect people to rescue others from danger at significant risk to themselves. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM / 28.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bin Cao, Yeming Wang, Guohui Fan, Lianghan Shang, Jiuyang Xu, DingyuZhang, Chen Wang on behalf of LOTUS-China Study Group China-Japan Friendship Hospital; Wuhan Jintinyan Hospital; Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Science MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the past two months, the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been spreading rapidly across the world. Science and technology is the most powerful weapon for human to fight against diseases, especially in such a pandemic setting. Seeking for effective antiviral medication is the most critical and urgent among the many scientific tasks in the pandemic. At the most critical moment in the fight against COVID-19, Chinese clinical scientists have stepped forward under extremely difficult research conditions to carry out clinical trials in antiviral treatment including lopinavir–ritonavir and remdesivir, in a swift, decisive and effective manner. These trials have attracted worldwide attention. Recently, the Lopinavir–ritonavir Trial for suppression of SARS-CoV-2 in China (LOTUS-China) has been completed, which, with great clinical significance, can provide strong evidence for the treatment of COVID-19 both in China and around the world. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer / 27.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amy C. Moore PhD Director of Science and Research GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer MedicalResearch.com: What is the mission of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer? Response: GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer’s mission is to transform survivorship by saving, extending, and improving the lives of those vulnerable, at risk, and diagnosed with lung cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Duke / 27.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rupesh Agrawal, MD Associate Professor Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Wasn't Dr Li Wenliang, the Chinese physician who first alerted his community of coronavirus an opthalmologist, with possible exposure to tears from this surgical work with glaucoma patients? Response: Since the start of the pandemic, there have been multiple reports which suggested the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via ocular fluids. As ophthalmologists, we come into close contact with tears on a daily basis during our clinical examination. Furthermore, many equipment in the clinic like the Goldman tonometer come into direct contact with such ocular fluids, providing a channel for viral transmission. The evidence, as of date, were mainly anecdotal reports included in newspaper articles and media interviews. We wanted to know if the virus can truly be found in tears, so we decided to embark on this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pharmaceutical Companies, Vaccine Studies / 17.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Charland PhD Senior Director, Scientific and Medical Affairs Medicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We started to work on solutions as soon as we were able to obtain the appropriate genetic information for the new COVID-19. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sibaji Sarkar, Ph.D. Adj. Professor Quincy College, Quincy, Boston MA MBC College, Wellesley MA RC College, Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19 infection is spreading and nothing is out there now to stop it. Hopefully, vaccines will be made and will be useful but that may take months if not a year. Researchers are also testing the use of other anti-viral drugs. COVID-19 uses (angiotensin converting enzyme receptor 2) ACE2 on capillary membranes of lungs to attach and then enter by endocytosis. ACE and ACE2 are two different types of receptors. ACE inhibitors are regularly in use as blood pressure lowering drugs. Unfortunately, ACE inhibitors have very les affinity for ACE2. Theoretically, if COVID-19 and any ACE2 inhibitor share similar binding site on ACE2 or at least bind in close proximity, assuming the virus is a big particle, it should fully or partially block viral entry. That will reduce or delay disease progression. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia Liu, Ph.D. Manager, Scientific Information CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society Columbus, OH 43210 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the new virus SARS-CoV-2 has overwhelmed the health systems in many countries and been declared by WHO as a pandemic which will continue to affect global public health and world economy. This threat calls for an intensified effort in the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines. CAS is a not-for-profit division of the American Chemical Society that specializes in scientific information solutions. Our team includes hundreds of scientists that build a global data collection of curated scientific content from both journal articles and patent applications as well as chemical and biological substance collections. With this report, our team hopes to support the efforts of R&D organizations seeking to address this crisis by providing an up-to-date overview of recent relevant publications and insight into potential therapeutic agents, including both small molecules and biologics. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, CT Scanning, Global Health, Medical Imaging / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Soheil Kooraki MSR MS, MD on behalf of Dr. Ali Gholamrezanezhad MD and co-authors Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: COVID19 is a novel strain of the coronavirus family causing pneumonia. Two similar strains were discovered in 2003 and 2012 to cause the so-called SARS and MERS outbreaks, respectively. Radiologists need to be prepared for the escalating incidence of COVID-19. We reviewed the literature to extract the epidemiologic and imaging features of SARS and MERS in comparison with known imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia to have a better understanding of the imaging features of the COVID19 pneumonia in acute and post-recovery stages. (more…)