Looking to find anything that might help the most serious COVID-19 patients, Dr. Melisa Lai-Becker of the CHA Everett Emergency Department said they have started a new protocol to try to slow the attack of COVID-19 on the lungs.
That possible treatment is simply put – the antidote for Tylenol poisoning – and it might be showing some signs of working.
“We’re starting one new procedural protocol using a medium that we could be incorporating into a clinical trial study,” she said. “We are hopeful it’s helping these patients. It’s not been in the news a lot and it’s something we developed on the toxicology side.”
The treatment is a medicine that is used for Tylenol poisoning, and they hope it can help to stop the aggressive attack on the lungs in patients that fail to recover. When COVID-19 attacks the lungs, she said it unleashes a “storm” of cytokines – which are small proteins that help cells communicate. Those proteins seem to inhibit the immune system of those that aren’t recovering, and there is hope that the antidote might slow that process and keep the immune system intact.
“Those who have COVID-19, about 80 to 85 percent don’t need a hospital and their immune systems are ok,” she said. “Those who are sick enough to be in the ICU, it seems to be their immune systems go awry. It starts attacking their lungs. The idea is this medicine might slow that down before it happens.” There are no results right now, but Dr. Lai-Becker – who is also involved in the toxicology department – said they have hope for it to be useful.