Ohio State launches clinical trial on potential treatment for COVID-19

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Beating the battle with coronavirus includes avoiding the intensive care unit and a ventilator.

One of the hallmark symptoms according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have launched a clinical trial using inhaled nitric oxide to improve a patient’s recovery from coronavirus and keep them out of intensive care.

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The treatment scientists are using takes what they learned from the SARS outbreak between 2003 and 2004.

Health care providers are giving what is described as continuously pulsed inhaled nitric oxide using a new system called the Bellerophon INOpulse® delivery system.

Dr. Sitaramesh Emani, who is an Ohio State associate professor of medicine said the trial is for patients who come in sick enough to need extra oxygen.

“If we can start them on treatment along with the other things we're doing to help these patients in the hospital over the course of several days giving them this medication,” Dr. Emani said. “We hope to see their breathing patterns improve, their need for extra oxygen decrease — avoiding the need to go to the ICU.”

Nitric oxide, when inhaled, dilates the arteries in the lungs and improves the flow of oxygen in the blood stream. It can be difficult to deliver it through a mask for long periods.

The trial calls for nitric oxide to be delivered continuously as long as it is needed.

Dr. Emani said they anticipate several days to about two weeks of treatment.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are now 31,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 1,888 people have died from the virus and 5,773 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

10TV is committed to bringing you a FACTS NOT FEAR approach to our coronavirus reporting. You can count on 10TV to give you the latest developments and the impacts on you and your family. For complete coverage, visit: 10TV.com/coronavirus.

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