WSJ: Hospitals Return to Basics for COVID Treatment
Reproduced from original article:
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked January 06, 2021
- Doctors are moving away from the initial treatment protocols to protect health care workers and reverting to prepandemic guidelines for ventilator use, which has improved survival rates for patients
- Over 50% of mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients die, with some mortality rates as high as 97.2% depending on the person’s age. Inherent risks with ventilation include lung damage and long-term sedation
- Home treatments to help prevent hospitalization that have been silenced are high-dose vitamin C, hydroxychloroquine and zinc; if hospitalized ask for the MATH+ protocol at the first sign of breathing problems to prevent ventilation
At the start of the pandemic, doctors were placing COVID-19 patients on ventilators for more reasons than saving lives. The Wall Street Journal reports some physicians are now reverting to the basics of treatment with better survival rates and better patient outcomes. How much of this story will reach mainstream media?
In the 1950s, the CIA ran a cover campaign called “Operation Mockingbird,” in which they recruited journalists as assets to spread propaganda.1 The campaign officially ended in the 1970s, but when you read the uniform media reports over the past 10 months, the evidence suggests the project never really stopped.
Many of the current media stories may make you long for the days of Woodward and Bernstein when uncovering information and breaking a story appeared more important than repeating the “company” line.
It appears there are few who write balanced pieces about what COVID-19 testing really shows, the science behind hydroxychloroquine, zinc, remdesivir or ivermectin, or the role high-dose vitamin C may play as an antiviral.
What does appear to be happening is a grassroots movement away from the initial treatment protocols for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and a reversion to prepandemic guidelines for ventilator use. Dr. Eduardo Oliveira from Advent Health Central Florida described the movement to a Wall Street Journal reporter: “Let’s go back to the basics. The less you deviate from it, the better.”2
Returning to Basics Raises Survival Rates
The point made by the journalist was that in the early stages of the disease, doctors were preemptively using powerful sedatives and ventilators for two reasons — “to save the seriously ill and protect hospital staff from COVID-19.”3
In other words, the critically ill, and often elderly, were placed on sedatives that had largely been abandoned because of side effects, and put on ventilators that lowered the chance of survival, “partly to limit contagion at a time when it was less clear how the virus spread, when protective masks and gowns were in short supply.”4
While early reports showed high flow oxygen through a nasal cannula may support breathing and does not require risky sedation, doctors were unsure if the patients would continue to release the virus into the air and raise the risk for health care workers.
Dr. Theodore Iwashyna is a critical care doctor at the University of Michigan, who also spoke with the reporter from The Wall Street Journal, saying,5 “We were intubating sick patients very early. Not for the patients’ benefit, but in order to control the epidemic and to save other patients. That felt awful.”
In addition to ventilation, patients were also given heavy doses of sedation so nurses and doctors could limit their exposure. However, these heavy doses of sedation increase the risk for delirium, long-term confusion and potentially death.6
Over time, doctors learned that while the disease is different from other viruses, it does respond to basic treatment protocols and prepandemic guidelines for ventilator use. Survival for patients in one hospital system rose 28% from April to September 2020 as doctors adjusted the treatment protocols using computerized guides to determine oxygen delivery and rate of flow.7
The Wall Street Journal reported on a study of three New York City hospitals in which the death rate from March to August 2020 dropped from 25.6% to 7.6%, which researchers attributed to less crowding of hospital facilities and new medications and improved treatment. Contact with a person’s family also improves their recovery, which is a common finding when people are ill.8,9,10
Over 50% of Mechanically Ventilated COVID-19 Patients Die
It wasn’t long before doctors discovered that ventilators were causing more damage to COVID-19 patients’ lungs than they were helping. Ventilators push air into a person’s lungs after a tube is inserted through the mouth and down the trachea.
Even in the best circumstances, ventilators can injure a person’s lungs by placing too much pressure against the tissue as the machine pushes air in. Typically, with low oxygen saturation, people are given breathing support with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
This is also used to treat severe sleep apnea as it helps regulate the pressure and level of oxygen using mild pressure gradients to keep the airways open. However, mechanical ventilation became widespread and remained that way even after published reports demonstrated that ventilation did not lower mortality rates, but may have in fact raised them.
Several studies have indicated the fatality rate once patients are on ventilators is more than 50%.11 In a case series of 1,300 critically ill patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in Lombardy, Italy, 88% were on ventilation and the mortality rate was 26%.12
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association included 5,700 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area from March 1, 2020, to April 4, 2020.13 They found the mortality rates for those who were on mechanical ventilation ranged from 76.4% to 97.2%, depending on the age bracket.
Another study of 24 patients admitted to Seattle area intensive care units showed 75% were placed on mechanical ventilation and half the 24 patients died between Day 1 and Day 18 after being admitted.14
There are inherent risks to ventilation, including lung damage to the air sacs from high levels of oxygen and from high pressure used by the machines. Another risk is long-term sedation, which is difficult for some patients to bounce back from.
MATH+ at First Sign of Breathing Problem Prevents Ventilator
Information about natural therapeutics continues to be suppressed by the media and is not received by those who need it most: critical care doctors. The Alliance for Natural Health has asked why is “success in critical care being ignored?” and goes on to question:15
“We all need to be asking why. After all, people are dying. How would it make relatives feel if it was found that their loved one had died needlessly just because the doctors who were having greatest success were not being listened to and their innovative protocols had been systematically ignored?”
In other words, it’s time to go back to the basics when treating this virus. One of those protocols they are referring to is the MATH+ protocol. At the time of the article, doctors had treated 100 patients with a 98% survival rate and no ventilation. The two people who died were both over 80 and had advanced chronic conditions.16
The protocol was first developed by a group of leading critical care physicians who formed the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group (FLCCC).17 The protocol gets the name from the medications used, which include intravenous methylprednisolone, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamine and full dose low-molecular-weight heparin.18
The protocol uses methylprednisolone and vitamin C intravenously in high doses to help mitigate the inflammatory response caused by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).19 They work synergistically and improve survival rates, particularly when given early in the disease. Thiamine helps optimize oxygen utilization and helps protect the heart, brain and immune system.
Heparin is used as a preventive and to help dissolve any blood clots that are known to appear with high frequency in this disease. The FLCCC writes that “Timing is a critical factor in the efficacy of MATH+ and to achieving successful outcomes in patients ill with COVID-19.”20
The protocol should be started soon after patients require oxygen supplementation for maximum benefit. Delaying therapy can lead to complications. The medications used in the protocol are all “FDA-approved, safe, inexpensive and readily available drugs.”21
Since the initiation of the protocol, doctors have found the addition of ivermectin beneficial to their patients. As such, it’s considered a core medication that’s administered on admission and repeated on Day 6 and 8 if the person has not recovered. Further, vitamin D, melatonin and zinc can be added, with therapeutic plasma exchange for patients whose disease is refractory.22,23
At High Doses, Vitamin C Has Antiviral Properties
A second treatment protocol being silenced for COVID-19 is high dose vitamin C. Dr. Andrew Saul is the editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. He presents valuable information on the importance of vitamin C for disease treatment, including COVID-19, which you can see in “Vitamin C Treatment for COVID-19 Being Silenced.”
At extremely high doses, vitamin C acts like an antiviral drug and kills viruses. When using this treatment at home to help prevent the need for hospitalization, use liposomal vitamin C as it is more bioavailable and doesn’t have the side effect of diarrhea at high doses.
Vitamin C is best known for its antioxidant properties. Even in small quantities, it protects proteins, lipids and DNA and RNA from reactive oxygen species that are generated during normal metabolism.
Vitamin C is also involved in the biosynthesis of collagen, carnitine and catecholamines. According to Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., as such it “participates in immune function, wound healing, fatty acid metabolism, neurotransmitter production and blood vessel formation, as well as other key processes and pathways.”24
In the early months of the pandemic, a commentary published in The Lancet states “rescue therapy with high dose vitamin C can also be considered” for patients with ARDS caused by COVID-19.25
A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine by Harri Hemila, Ph.D., who is considered to be an authority on vitamin C, stated that patients with pneumonia can tolerate up to 100 grams of vitamin C each day without developing diarrhea, “possibly because of the changes in vitamin C metabolism caused by the severe infection.”26
Hydroxychloroquine and Zinc Are a Powerful Combo Treatment
A hydroxychloroquine and zinc combination is yet another treatment that has been maligned in favor of remdesivir, an expensive drug with little documented evidence. In this short news video, reporter Sharyl Attkisson delves into the politics and finances of the two drugs in the treatment of COVID-19.
While remdesivir must be given in the hospital over five days, your doctor can prescribe hydroxychloroquine for use at home to help prevent hospitalization. Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that was introduced in 1955.27 It has a long history of use outside a hospital setting, including for the treatment of arthritis and lupus, for which it was approved in 1956.28
According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ home-based guide to treating COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are antiviral agents that29 “must be started quickly at STAGE I (Days 1 to 5)” and “These medicines stop the virus from (1) entering the cells and (2) from multiplying once inside the cells, and they reduce bacterial invasion in the sinuses and lung.”
They recommend the addition of azithromycin or doxycycline with either of the drugs. However, the guideline also stresses the necessity of using zinc and supplemental vitamins D and C:30
“Either combination above must also include zinc sulfate or gluconate, plus supplemental vitamin D, and vitamin C. Some doctors also recommend adding a B complex vitamin. Zinc is critical. It helps block the virus from multiplying. Hydroxychloroquine is the carrier taking zinc INTO the cells to do its job.”
There are several reasons why certain individuals and companies may not want an inexpensive generic drug to work against COVID-19, including eliminating the need for vaccination or the development of other antiviral drugs that are more costly than a two-week supply of hydroxychloroquine that can retail for as little as $20.31
You’ll find more about hydroxychloroquine and how one doctor calls those who are denying patients hydroxychloroquine “guilty of mass murder,” in “How a False Hydroxychloroquine Narrative Was Created.”
- 1 Daily Beast, October 14, 2016
- 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2020
- 6 World Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2015;6(2)
- 8 Critical Care Nurse, 2016;36(1)
- 9 Science Daily, February 12, 2018
- 10 Fox13 Now, January 5, 2016
- 11 American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2020;102(6)
- 12 JAMA, 2020;323(16):1574
- 13 JAMA, 2020;323(20):2052
- 14 New England Journal of Medicine, 2020;382:2012
- 15 Alliance for Natural Health May 14, 2020
- 16 Alliance for Natural Health, May 14, 2020 Survival outcomes that shouldn’t be ignored para 3
- 17 NewsWise, FLCCC
- 18 FLCCC Alliance, About MATH+
- 19, 20, 21 FLCCC Alliance, MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol
- 22 FLCCC Alliance, MATH+ Protocol
- 23 Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, 2020; doi.org/10.1177/0885066620973585 Salvage Therapy
- 24 Found My Fitness, Vitamin C, Background
- 25 The Lancet, 2020;8(5)
- 26 Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2007 Nov; 100(11)
- 27 U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- 28 Lupus Foundation of America, Hydroxychloroquine
- 29, 30 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, A Guide to Home-Based COVID Treatment
- 31 Good Rx Hydroxychloroquine