A coronavirus survivor's story shows how doctors are learning and sharing treatment discoveries
PHILADELPHIA — Four days after he tested positive for COVID-19, Radames Plaza reluctantly told his wife to call 911 because he couldn’t catch his breath.As he was loaded into the ambulance, gasping for air, Plaza was struck by how familiar — and how foreign — the situation felt. He had spent 22 years as an emergency medical technician, but never wore the kind of head-to-toe protective gear these paramedics used. He realized that he was hazardous material.It was April 9, and the pandemic was roaring through New Jersey. Plaza, 53, was promptly admitted to the intensive-care unit at Virtua Memori...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Larry Stone: 'The doubleheader of cancer': Ex-Mariners trainer Rick Griffin and wife move forward after both overcame disease
SEATTLE — When longtime Mariners trainer Rick Griffin completed his final treatment for prostate cancer in late June, he received a commemorative coin from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. It has a prominent place of honor on his desk.“I never got to go to a World Series, but this is like my own World Series ring,” Griffin said.For 35 years as the Mariners’ head athletic trainer, Griffin was the one tending to the health concerns of Seattle players, from legends to journeymen. There was no distinction to Griffin; all received his tender, loving care. He still maintains a...
The Seattle Times
Promising COVID-19 treatment sends Seattle biotech company's stock soaring
Shares in a Seattle biotech firm shot up 80% Monday after a preliminary trial suggested a new drug could boost survival rates for patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.Omeros, a biopharmaceutical firm focused on immune-related diseases and other disorders, said the trials showed its drug narsoplimab improved recovery and survival for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome associated with COVID-19.Those results, coupled with news that Omeros was in talks to receive federal funding to scale up production of narsoplimab, pushed the company’s share price to a high of $25.46, or 80% abo...
The Seattle Times
Commentary: Good science takes time — even during a pandemic
Good science takes time. This has always been clear to those of us doing health research — less so to the general public. In the pursuit of treatments for COVID-19, we need to manage expectations about what’s not just possible, but also desirable.Finding a vaccine is difficult work, but it’s not like finding a needle in a haystack. Scientists start from a place of knowledge. Researchers around the world are already working on more than 150 possible vaccines, with 22 in human trials. There are also thousands of previously developed pharmaceuticals in testing. A vaccine for COVID-19 is quite lik...
Ben Simmons to be re-evaluated in two weeks after Monday's surgery; Joel Embiid, Josh Richardson to miss Suns game
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The 76ers could be a shell of themselves during Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns at The Arena.Joel Embiid will be sidelined with a twisted left ankle. Josh Richardson will miss the game due to rest. Tobias Harris (right ankle soreness) and Al Horford (left knee soreness) are questionable.Meanwhile, Ben Simmons, who was already sidelined, had surgery Monday morning to remove the loose body in his left knee. Dr. Chris Dodson from the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute performed the surgery. The loose piece was found after he suffered a temporary partial dislocation of his lef...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sixers' Ben Simmons leaving NBA bubble to have left knee surgery
ORLANDO, Fla. — The 76ers must prepare for a postseason run without Ben Simmons.The two-time All-Star is leaving the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World to undergo surgery in the coming days to remove a loose body in his left knee. The body was a result of his suffering a temporary partial dislocation of his left kneecap on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.The Sixers have not ruled out Simmons returning this season, but the squad would have to make deep run in the postseason in order for that to happen. That’s perhaps why the team is preparing for the season as if the 6-foot-10, 250-pounde...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Can hydroxychloroquine prevent COVID-19? Bad press getting in the way of KU finding out
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For 30 days, Kansas City physician Michael Waxman took a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine.Or maybe, he didn’t.Maybe, those pills were nothing more than a placebo.He won’t know until the end of a national clinical trial investigating whether hydroxychloroquine — the drug that keeps popping up in headlines — can prevent health care workers like him from getting COVID-19.The study, led by Duke Clinical Research Institute, is taking place at 40 sites across the country, including the University of Kansas Medical Center.Waxman, a pulmonary critical care physician who has worked a...
The Kansas City Star
Nation and world news briefs
1 in 3 Americans would refuse COVID-19 vaccine, new Gallup poll findsOne in 3 Americans would refuse an FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine even if it were offered at no cost, a new Gallup poll released Friday found.The results, based on survey conducted between July 20 and Aug. 2, found that 65% of respondents said they would accept the offer and get themselves vaccinated while 35% said they would not.The new poll falls in line with previous Gallup findings suggesting political party preference plays a strong role in Americans’ views on COVID-19.Eighty-one% of Democrats would be willing to get v...
Tribune News Service
A drug that may lessen COVID-related lung damage. Miami will be first in US to test it
MIAMI — A Miami hospital will be the first in the country to test a possible COVID-19 treatment on humans this August.The research center at Westchester General Hospital in Coral Terrace is on its way to enroll patients to test Ifenprodil, a pill developed in the 1970s to treat blood circulation disorders that may alleviate some COVID-19 side-effects in the lungs.The drug, which was tested on a coronavirus patient overseas for the first time Wednesday, may reduce the severity and duration of COVID-19 infections, according to Algernon Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian drug repurposing company that in...
2 transgender teens sue Arizona's Medicaid program for refusal to cover chest surgery
Two transgender teens in Arizona are challenging the state’s Medicaid ban on surgical treatment for gender dysphoria.The two plaintiffs, named in court documents as 15-year-old D.H. and 17-year-old John Doe, are both teens enrolled in Arizona’s Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.They are seeking male chest reconstruction surgery as a treatment for their gender dysphoria — defined in the lawsuit as “the distress that can result from the incongruence between a person’s gender identity and their assigned sex at birth” — but the state’s Medicaid will not cov...
New York Daily News