Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA / 13.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D. Mitrani Professor of Biomedical Research Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center Liise-anne Pirofski, MD on behalf of lead authors Mila Ortigoza MD, PhD, Assistant professor at NYU Langone Health and Hyunah Yoon MD, Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein Medical Center and the CONTAIN COVID-19 trial authors and team MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was designed to determine the efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. It was designed and launched in New York City in April 2020 during the height of the first COVID-19 pandemic wave and later extended to sites in Miami, Houston, and other regions affected by subsequent waves of the pandemic. At that time, there were no validated therapeutic options for COVID-19, and there was clinical equipoise for CCP use in hospitalized patients. COVID-19 convalescent plasma was considered worthy of investigation because of the historical success of convalescent plasma in prior pandemics and epidemics dating to the beginning of the 20th century, and importantly, biological plausibility because convalescent plasma contains antibodies to agents from which people have recovered, and case series and observational studies showing signals of CCP efficacy in patients with COVID-19. The trial was designed to focus on patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 who required supplemental oxygen, but not mechanical intubation. At the time the trial was designed, hospitals in New York City were overwhelmed with severely and critically ill patients with COVID-19, an entirely new disease about which more and more was learned over the 11 months the trial was conducted.  (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Science, UCSF / 10.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Art Wallace, M.D., Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Anesthesia School of Medicine, UCSF Chief of the Anesthesia Service Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I have spent the last 30 years working on perioperative risk reduction, developing medications and approaches to risk reduction. Part of this work utilized epidemiologic analysis of medication patterns of use to test if they are associated with reductions in morbidity and mortality. This work analyzed data in the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) which provides access to the VA, best in the world electronic health care record system, VISTA.  With the COVID-19 pandemic I realized that the analytic techniques we had utilized for perioperative cardiac risk reduction could be used to search for medications to reduce the risks for acute COVID-19 infection. We identified four classes of medications that reduced the risk of death in acute COVID-19 infection. We then turned our attention to medications to reduce the incidence, severity, and duration of long-term sequelae of COVID-19 infection also known as Long COVID or COVID Long Hauler Syndrome. One of the questions that people were asking was what was the effect of vaccination on Long COVID? We began that work by looking at the effect of vaccination on COVID infections and found the dramatic decrease in efficacy of vaccines with the spread of the Delta Variant. We published this work to notify the public and public health community of the decreased efficacy of the vaccines in the face of the Delta variant and reiterate the need for secondary public health prevention measures such as masks, social distancing, vaccination, and boosters. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Holberger, PhD Vice President, Strategic Partnerships Biolabs MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dr. Laura Holberger is the lead author of a JNO article published today describing the results of a research study done on behalf of BioLabs, a global network of coworking laboratory spaces, and the Cambridge Consortium for Rapid COVID Tests (CCRCT). BioLabs co-sponsored the study which helped validate a high-frequency testing protocol using an antigen test for COVID-19 under development by E25Bio Inc., a biotechnology company that develops rapid tests for infectious diseases.  The study involved twice-weekly testing of members and affiliates working in person at coworking laboratories in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts from September 2020 through March 2021. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Lancet, Pulmonary Disease / 26.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jie Li, PhD, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, FAARC Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences Division of Respiratory Care Rush University, Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prone positioning has been shown to improve oxygenation and reduce mortality in intubated patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), as placing patients on their stomachs can help open alveoli and reduce ventilation to perfusion mismatch. At early pandemic, clinicians tried prone positioning for non-intubated patients with COVID-19 and found improvement in oxygenation. However, the evidence for patient outcomes such as intubation or mortality is still lacking. Thus we organized this international, multicenter, randomized controlled meta-trial, with 41 hospitals in 6 countries participated. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Douglas L. Kriner, PhD The Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions Department of Government Cornell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 reaches the market, the world will not change overnight.  Rather, government and public health individuals will have to develop a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccine and to convince potentially wary Americans to take it. Our study examined the influence of both specific vaccine characteristics and the politics surrounding it on public willingness to vaccinate.  Both matter in important ways.  For example, efficacy is unsurprisingly a major driver of public opinion; Americans are more willing to take a vaccine that is more efficacious. (more…)