Covid-19 American doctors are saving lives

With all the fear and loss of life associated with Covid-19 there is a glimmer of hope coming out of the U.S. A group of critical care specialists including Dr Paul Marik, head of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Sentara General Hospital Norfolk Virginia, have been successfully treating very ill patients with a protocol they have collectively developed.

The group of doctors is from several hospitals and they have published their MATH+ protocol on a website for the benefit of other specialists around the world.

Their MATH+ treatment is specifically designed to help hospital doctors to counter the body’s overwhelming inflammatory response to Covid-19. The protocol is based on numerous medical journal publications over decades. Dr Marik and his colleagues state that “it’s the hyper-inflammation, not the virus itself that damages the lungs and other organs and ultimately causes death”.

They say that their focus is to address two medical emergencies associated with Covid-19:

·      The overwhelming and damaging inflammatory response

·      The systemic and severe hyper-coagulable state causing organ damage.

Their MATH+ protocol is based on the use of Methylprednisolone, a steroid drug, combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which are both given intravenously to combat the inflammatory response. They say that the steroid drug becomes more potent when administered together with ascorbic acid and this combination has multiple synergistic physiologic effects. Thiamine (a B vitamin) is also given to optimise cellular oxygen utilisation. Heparin, a blood thinning drug, is administered to prevent and dissolve blood clots that appear in Covid-19 patients. The + part of the protocol involves supplementation with melatonin, zinc and vitamin D.

Re the use of a steroid drug to control inflammation, it's very interesting to note that recent British research which was reported worldwide as a major breakthrough linked the use of a steroid drug Dexamethasone to significantly reduced deaths in Covid-19 patients. Dr Marik and his colleagues acknowledge this research, but they believe that Methylprednisolone is more appropriate for use with Covid-19 patients.

The critical care doctors have found that if patients have low oxygen saturation when breathing is supported with a nasal cannula, using heated high flow oxygen and increasing the flow as needed can improve outcomes.. Mechanical ventilation may ultimately be the only option for some patients, but Dr Marik says, they try to reduce the need for this intervention as much as possible. They are also ‘proning’ (face down) patients to help improve oxygen saturation.

They say that in all Covid-19 hospitalised patients, the therapeutic focus must be placed on early intervention. Timing is a critical factor in the successful treatment of Covid-19 patients. Patients must go to hospital as soon as they experience difficulty breathing.

MATH+ was developed from a protocol that Dr Marik pioneered at Sentara Hospital with sepsis patients. (Sepsis kills more than eight million people in hospitals around the world every year.) Type 'Chance discovery could save millions from Sepsis' into Google and watch a brief video filmed in Sentara Hospital.

As to the efficacy of the MATH+ protocol, Dr Marik and colleagues say that their hospital records show that they are achieving a success rate of 95%. They and their colleagues are in the process of gathering patient data in order to scientifically prove the efficacy of their MATH+ protocol. An Italian study using this protocol was submitted for publication and results could be disclosed soon.

With the medical community aggressively conducting many research studies in an attempt to find treatments for hospital patients with Covid-19, the success that Dr Marik and his colleagues in several hospitals have achieved is indeed encouraging. A simple, totally safe and effective treatment readily using available drugs is already saving lives.

John Appleton

Ph: 09-489-9362