WAAY31 is learning more about coronavirus treatments used in North Alabama hospitals. Several of these treatments are still being researched, but one Huntsville doctor said she has seen them work.
Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Doctor Hafsa Siddiqui said they are still learning a lot about these options.
Coronavirus treatments for severely ill patients
Hydroxychloroquine was used widely at the start of the pandemic. It is an immunosuppressive drug. Studies have shown it is not as effective as originally thought. However, it is still approved for hospital use.
Remdesivir is an anti-viral treatment. Siddiqui said it has a "favorable" effective level. She said a study by Gilead shows it can reduce a stay in the hospital by four days.
Dexamethasone is a steroid treatment. Siddiqui said this is used for patients on a ventilator.
Then, there is convalescent plasma therapy. It uses blood from people who have recovered from coronavirus. Just last month, the FDA issued emergency use of this therapy, so it too is in use at Huntsville Hospital.
Siddiqui emphasizes that all these treatments are only for those hospitalized.
"The treatment that we implement on the patient are reserved for severely sick patient and we define that as somebody breathing very fast, more than 30 times a minute, oxygen levels in the blood are less than 93 percent and requiring oxygen," She said.
Coronavirus treatments for mild symptoms
For those showing mild symptoms, the Centers For Disease Control said treatment can include pain relievers, cough syrup, lots of fluids, and rest.
As of September 22, Huntsville Hospital has 64 patients with coronavirus inside the hospital. Of those, 15 are in the ICU and 9 are on ventilators.