'There is hope': Double-blind trial shows potential for medication to help with COVID-19 symptoms
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Two different double-blind trials have shown “game-changing potential” for COVID-19 research, Windsor Regional Hospital staff says.
WRH chief of staff Dr. Wassim Saad says the blood thinner Heparin and the oral drug Colchicine were used on a trial basis at the hospital.
“The patient didn’t know what they were getting whether they were going to get the drug or placebo and the person prescribing it to them also didn’t know what they were getting so by doing that double-blind where both the patient and the person prescribing it are blind to what they are getting, it eliminates any potential bias,” Saad said.
The findings to date, have shown these drugs to have helped keep COIVD-19 symptoms from reaching critical levels. This could help cut hospitalizations by up to 40 per cent.
“Anything that we can do to reduce hospitalizations and reduce the use of critical care beds is going to be critical,” Saad said.
He says this is the first and only outpatient medication someone can get to reduce the risk of COVID-19 symptoms worsening.
“What we do have to be careful about with the results of these clinical trials is they have yet to be published,” Saad said. “So of course, in the COVID-19 world things are happening very differently than they would in normal circumstances.”
Medical peer reviews are needed before health care professionals can use the medication in their arsenal.
“Similar to what we talked about with the vaccine there are no (steps being skipped) here, things are happening at very fast paces but it's just that the steps need to be followed in the proper order before we start treating our own patients with these drugs,” Saad said.
Dr. Saad told CTV News both drugs are in good supply and readily available, but notes it could be weeks before approvals are given for regular use.
“The message to the public is that there is hope,” he said.