Research for drug to help COVID-19 patients shows a possibility for cardiac death

Drug to help with COVID-19 patients.
Drug to help with COVID-19 patients.(KEYC)
Updated: Mar. 28, 2020 at 10:41 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Researchers all over the country are trying to find safe and effective therapies for patients with COVID-19.

Right now, on the front lines of that effort is an antimalarial drug.

Drugs as such are used to manage and minimize symptoms of inflammatory immune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

In laboratory tests, hydroxychloroquine (in antimalarial drugs) can prevent the viruses that cause coronavirus from attaching to and entering cells.

If these antiviral abilities work the same way in animals and humans, the drug could be used to treat patients and limit the number of COVID-19 deaths.

Though, genetical cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Michael Ackerman published research warning that the drugs, have the “potential to prolong the heart’s QT interval” which increases the patient’s chance for the heart to be pushed over the edge causing risk for sudden cardiac death.

“When you do this preemptive warning, you never get to know how many hundreds and potentially thousands of lives will now be saved by enabling people to be more aware, to be aware of the risk, identify those at greatest risk to navigate around it or neutralize the threat,” Ackerman.

If these drugs work, Ackerman says they’re going to be used “a lot".

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