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COVID-19 treatment with remdesivir at Dresden University Hospital
In the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases, many hopes rest on the drug remdesivir, the effectiveness of which has already been demonstrated in the first studies. Although the effect against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has not yet been adequately proven, the drug is already being used in practice for severe illnesses. So now also at the University Hospital Dresden, where a seriously ill patient was successfully treated with Remdesivir.
The drug remdesivir, originally developed for the treatment of Ebola, is considered a possible therapeutic agent in severe COVID-19 cases. At the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital in Dresden, the first patient was successfully treated with the antiviral agent. The previously seriously ill 53-year-old patient recovered quickly and was able to leave the clinic again, according to the information from the university clinic.
Two-week intensive medical treatment
The 53-year-old nurse Jenny Fischer had to be treated in the intensive care unit of the Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy in Dresden for a total of two weeks, seven days of which she was mechanically ventilated. "Because the patient's condition deteriorated drastically immediately after being transferred from a Görlitz hospital, the intensive care physicians at the university clinic decided to give Remdesivir, which can currently only be used as part of studies," reports the Dresden University Hospital.
Requirements for the Remdesivir application
The use of remdesivir against COVID-19 is possible in Germany within a drug hardship program approved by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and is currently being tested in clinical trials in which the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden is also involved. The first seriously ill patient could now benefit from this option in Dresden.
"I put myself in the hands of the people here at the university hospital because I knew I could only survive like this," reports the 53-year-old. She did not believe that the corona virus made someone like her who had no health problems so seriously ill. "Before moving to Dresden, I was terrified of death due to my breathing problems," reports Jenny Fischer.
Treatment of severe COVID-19 cases is a challenge
According to Professor Michael Albrecht, Medical Director of the Dresden University Hospital, intensive care for patients with particularly severe COVID-19 courses also remains a major challenge for the intensive care medicine of a university hospital. "But the expertise that has been built up over many years and the networking with colleagues from all over the world enable us to use state-of-the-art therapies. The fact that we can save lives in this way shows the importance of top university medicine, ”emphasizes Prof. Albrecht.
"Remdesivir is one of several options for providing COVID-19 patients with specific therapies that are not yet established in clinical routine," adds the director of the Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy at the University Hospital Dresden, Professor Thea Koch.
New territory in treatment
With the first administration of the antiviral agent, they would have entered new territory with a clear conscience, because the care of seriously ill people was everyday life in their intensive care unit and new treatment methods were regularly looked for - in close cooperation with colleagues from all over the world, Prof. Koch continued. In addition, it was possible "after the decision to give remdesivir to this patient to get the medication at very short notice."
Healing in two weeks
In Jenny Fischer, COVID-19, the state of health improved relatively quickly with treatment with remdesivir, mechanical ventilation, abdominal positioning therapy and treatment of the peripheral pulmonary artery embolism. Invasive mechanical ventilation was ended after just over a week. In the meantime, the patient has already been released from the hospital. 16 days later, the 53-year-old is now doing regular breathing exercises that will be continued intensively in a rehabilitation clinic in the coming weeks.
"I cannot understand the people who do not protect themselves against the corona virus or play down the disease," Jenny Fischer is quoted in the press release from the university hospital. And Prof. Michael Albrecht emphasizes that COVID-19 should not be underestimated due to the sometimes very long and medically complex courses. Here the need for specialized intensive care units becomes particularly clear. (fp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden: Antiviral drug against COVID-19 successfully used for the first time at the University Hospital (published May 15, 2020), uniklinikum-dresden.de