Day: June 3, 2020

ICUs Become A ‘Delirium Factory’ For COVID Patients

Doctors are fighting not only to save lives from COVID-19, but also to protect patients’ brains.

Although COVID-19 is best known for damaging the lungs, it also increases the risk of life-threatening brain injuries — from mental confusion to hallucinations, seizures, coma, stroke and paralysis. The virus may invade the brain, as well as starve the organ of oxygen by damaging the lungs. To fight the infection, the immune system sometimes overreacts, battering the brain and other organs it normally protects.

Yet the pandemic has severely limited the ability of doctors and nurses to prevent and treat neurological complications. The severity of the disease and the heightened risk of infection have forced medical teams to abandon many of the practices that help them protect patients from delirium, a common side effect of mechanical ventilators

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Hype Collides With Science As FDA Tries To Rein In ‘Wild West’ of COVID Blood Tests

“Save your business while saving lives,” reads the website of Because Health, a Seattle tech startup selling two types of tests to employers willing to pay $350 a pop to learn whether their workers have been infected with COVID-19.

The “Workplace Health” plan includes not only nasal swab tests to detect infection, but also blood tests aimed at indicating whether workers have developed antibodies to the virus — and, possibly, future protection.

“There’s a tremendous consumer demand,” said Dr. Lars Boman, the Boston-based medical director for the firm. “Can they return to work? Can they return to life?”

What the website does not make clear, however, is that public health officials have explicitly warned that antibody tests should not be used to make decisions about workplace staffing.

“This is a personal choice of the business, of the consumer,” Boman said.

Across

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