But doctors, based on the experience of doctors in New York and elsewhere, avoid ventilators when possible and keep Ms. Hernandez on a high oxygen flow through a nasal tube. She is on the maximum setting, but can speak to the clinical team and exchange text messages with her daughter, who is also a Methodist inpatient with the coronavirus.
“I took it seriously,” said Ms. Hernandez about the virus. But she joined a small group of eight people for her granddaughter’s birthday, a decision that she now described with regret. “Just a birthday cake. What is a birthday cake without health? “
Methodist was part of two attempts at remdesivir. But because the research is over, it and other hospitals now depend on state allocations of the drug. As virus cases increased, supplies ran low, said Katherine Perez, a hospital infectious disease specialist. “In Houston, every hospital that got the drug just used it up,” she said.
The hospital received 1,000 vials just over a week ago, the largest batch ever. Within four days, all patients who could be treated with it had been selected and the pharmacists were waiting for another delivery.
A new way to test remdesivir in a clinical trial in combination with another drug can bring some relief. As the number of cases increases, Methodist researchers are flooded with offers to participate in studies, with around 10 to 12 new opportunities being checked centrally each week. Without solid research, “your option is to conduct a series of unproven, potentially harmful, possibly futile interventions for very sick people who depend on you,” said Dr. H. Dirk Sostman, President of the Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine.
Convince the public
Dr. Boom, the Methodist general manager, said if he could preserve one of the New York experience in March, the country would come together as it had in previous disasters.