With no treatment options, it’s little wonder people are seeking unproven therapies like ‘blood washing’

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A recent study published by the newspaper British Medical Journal It has been revealed that many COVID patients are traveling abroad to seek expensive “blood transfusions”.

This experimental medicine– medical name that is apheresis— involves taking blood from the body and “filtering” it. Essentially, when blood is spun rapidly in a centrifuge, it separates into layers. You can either filter out some of the ingredients or remove some of the layers and replace them with more desirable liquids. Then the blood is returned to the body through a vein.

Apheresis can be effective for other conditions such as sickle cell diseasewhere normal red blood cells can be removed, and leukemia, where the patient can have white blood cells removed and even have white blood cells collected from a health care provider.

As a long-term treatment for COVID, apheresis has been recommended to filter out the things circulating in the body blood which are involved in swelling and freezing. Effectiveness has not yet been proven in any meaningful trial in this context, and it is not without risk. However, it is getting a lot of attention, especially through social media.

But who can blame long-term COVID patients for following ineffective tests and treatments? We have failed to fully define the types of diseases that contribute to prolonged COVID. Unfortunately, we have not been able to start effective trials of possible long-term treatments for COVID. There is an empty space all over the world where there should be a great collaborative effort.

A public health disaster is looming

As we understand the average and long-term health problems that many people face after contracting COVID-19, it’s like watching a car accident unfold slowly.

In the medium term, we see a strong but real trend bleeding (these are not microclots but normal blood clots seen on classic imaging). We observe this even in patients who are not hospitalized with COVID-19. In the meantime, a new research of nature like diabetes they are more common in patients who have recovered from the disease.

In the first year of the disease, more than one in four patients who survived the hospital died or remained back to the hospital in the first few months of his discharge. Although there is a possibility of using vaccines, we do not yet know if this has changed in recent waves. If these things continue, health services they look at two types of patients who need care during their time primary infectionthen these patients continue to have significant health care needs below.

All this before we get to the challenges of long-term care for COVID. We don’t have an accurate measure of how many people are affected, in part because of a lack of consistent definitions and diagnostic criteria. The current impact cannot be underestimated.

Now, patients are increasingly taking drastic measures in hopes of seeing some improvement in their chronic symptoms. Apheresis is not the first so-called panacea, and it will not be the last.

We need testing

Many big proponents of unproven treatments like apheresis will tell you that we just need to start treating patients with prolonged COVID; that there is no time to conduct clinical trials—and trials are not needed anyway as the anecdotal evidence is strong. I heard that argument about the treatment for COVID-19, made by the same people, at the beginning of the first wave.

This method has been proven wrong. Treatments considered early-like hydroxychloroquine same to you ivermectin– later shown to be ineffective. Drugs like dexamethasone same to you tocilizumabcurrently, it has been proven to save lives in rigorous trials and to change the course of the disease.

Both in the field of vaccines and antiviral drugs, we have proven that we can conduct trials at the scale and speed of infection. But now we don’t apply these lessons to the long run of COVID.

My colleagues and I set up HEALTH – COVID study, which included more than 1,000 people who were hospitalized with COVID-19. We aim to identify possible treatments that can improve long-term outcomes for these patients, and prevent the onset of chronic health problems.

However, when we look further down the road and look at the established long-term COVID, research regarding treatment is currently lacking. There are exceptions such as community treatment studies Intensity-ICPbut they stand out because they stand out from the crowded field.

In this gap witness levels of misguided evangelists, good people who are just trying to offer hope and help, and the worst kind of charlatans who prey on the sick and vulnerable. So we urgently need to enforce what is needed to get good, big and reliable money clinical trials up the agenda.

If we could do it during the pandemic with a few weeks notice, why is it different now? Tests for long-term treatment of COVID are really complicated because, among other reasons, there are many symptoms and ideas about what can trigger them. But this complexity is not insurmountable.

If we don’t invest the equipment and funds to do these tests, many people will face uncertain treatments at great cost and with possible harm. And at the end of it, we still don’t know if any of them really work. The burden on the health system, in addition to individuals and families, will be enormous.

Long-term COVID patients are seeking ‘blood wash’ tests abroad, study finds

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