What your doctor is reading on Medscape.com:
APRIL 28, 2020 — Here are the coronavirus stories Medscape’s editors around the globe think you need to know about today:
Hospitals Update Hydroxychloroquine Protocols
Across the country, hospitals are incorporating Friday’s warning from the US Food and Drug Administration about the risks of prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19 patients into their treatment protocols. For some hospitals, the message affirmed the cautious approach they were already taking.
Michigan Medicine, for example, stopped using hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (both separately and in combination) about a month ago, an infectious diseases specialist there said. “When we reviewed the data that was available in more detail, we realized that it was essentially uninterpretable,” he said. As of Monday, the only patients receiving this drug at Michigan Medicine are those enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
New York Emergency Physician Death
Lorna M. Breen, MD, had been immersed in treating COVID-19 patients as medical director of a Manhattan emergency department, and had contracted and recovered from the disease herself. On Sunday, Breen, 49, died by suicide, the New York Times reported. “She’s a casualty just as much as anyone else who has died,” her father told the Times .
During the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians can talk to a psychiatrist by calling the Physician Support Line, a free mental health hotline exclusively for doctors, at 1-888-409-0141. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, 24/7 confidential service that can provide people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information, and local resources. Its number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Immigrant Physicians Fighting COVID-19 Worry About Visas
Visa restrictions often block the ability of immigrant physicians to meet COVID-19 surges across the country, the chief clinical officer for an integrated healthcare system in the southern United States said on a press call.
“This pandemic is a war with an invisible enemy, and immigrant physicians have been absolutely critical to providing quality care, especially on the front lines — but current visa restrictions have limited the ability to deploy these physicians in communities with the greatest need,” he said.