Romano Law Nurse Corner #22
The United States has just topped 5 million cases of COVID-19, almost one quarter of the global cases. Our country has the most deaths reported in the world. Experts warn that the true number of infections could actually be much higher than we know.
Venturing out around South Florida, you still see a large number of people unwilling to wear a mask and/or social distance. It is astounding that something beneficial to the health of our society as a whole seems so hard. Some schools around the country have started in person learning and already have had to quarantine entire classes of children and teachers. Other school districts continue to evaluate and plan their attack for re-opening. The majority of schools are looking at some form of modified socially distant in person learning. Controversy continues.
UPDATE - Children’s Cases & Children’s Transmission of COVID-19
At least 97,000 children in the United States tested positive for coronavirus the last two weeks of July alone, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. The report says that at least 338,000 children have tested positive since the pandemic began, meaning more than a quarter have tested positive in just those two weeks.
While physicians report that children who contract COVID-19 are less likely to suffer severe outcomes, some children will experience long term residual consequences. Of note, research indicates that children 10 and over transmit COVID-19 as “efficiently” as adults.
UPDATE - Vaccines for COVID-19
As a prior blog discussed, several companies have vaccines in phase 3 trials, including locally here in West Palm Beach. This is good news. Moderna, one of those companies, started enrolling subjects in multiple sites at the end of July. They plan to enroll 30,000 study subjects. According to a Moderna email obtained by CNN, as of last week, 54 out of 89 testing sites were operational. It also says that they have enrolled 4,536 people so far. They project that they will have 30,000 participants by the end of September.
According to the current trend, even if Moderna reaches its goal of full enrollment by the end of September, they still will not have a vaccine by Election Day. The vaccine development process is just not that quick.
For example, once a study participant is given an injection (potential vaccine), they have to wait 28 days to get their second one. Then, they have to wait 2 weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective. After that, they have to wait and see who gets sick with the virus and who does not. That process takes time as well. People do not all get sick at the same rate or in the same way. Also remember, only half of participants are given a vaccine while the other half are given placebo. One of the researchers, Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccinologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia predicts there will be results from the Moderna study in the first quarter of 2021 at the earliest. Most experts tend to agree with this timing.
UPDATE – Treatments for COVID 19
While there is much going on in terms of research into different treatments, not a lot of it turns out to be useful in this fight against COVID-19. In the latest treatment news, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) has launched a phase 3 trial of a combination drug consisting of Remdesivir and an anti-inflammatory drug called Rebif (Interferon beta-1a) for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. This study is part of NIAD’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), designed to assess the safety and efficacy of new treatments in hospitalized adults diagnosed with COVID-19.
This particular trial will evaluate whether the combination of drugs (Remdesivir and Rebif) will reduce the recovery time compared to those patients treated with Remdesivir alone, which has shown to be a useful treatment for some patients. This study is occurring in approximately 100 different locations, both in the U.S. and internationally, and is expected to include more than 1,000 patients.
Another drug, inhaled RLF-100 (aviptadil), is a synthetic form of natural peptide that has been shown to block replication of coronavirus in human lung and immune cells. The FDA has granted approval for a phase 2 trial of this drug for the prevention of respiratory failure in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 infections. There will be more. We will see progress.
Hope!! Studies are moving faster than ever before and there is no doubt that eventually there will be a vaccine that can prevent COVID-19 and effective treatments that can help those infected with it. Once again, it will take time for that to be done safely.
While this pandemic seems to be never ending, science and medicine is moving faster than ever. We will beat this virus. There is bound to be a breakthrough with COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Essential to that end, we each must continue to do our part, now and every day, to defeat its spread.
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.