DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Over the last month, DuPage Medical Group (DMG) has developed and piloted a new outpatient therapeutic consideration protocol for COVID-19 patients — which involves aspirin and supplements such as vitamin D, zinc and iron — to reduce serious complications and hospitalizations.
To develop the protocol, a team of DMG physicians looked closely at what was making their COVID-19 patients the sickest — blood clots and inflammation. When considering all medications available to treat COVID-19, only blood thinners, such as aspirin, and steroids, such as dexamethasone, had been shown to decrease mortality.
The vast majority of those with COVID-19 are treated on an outpatient basis, meaning they are treated before reaching a hospital. With input from infectious disease specialists, emergency room physicians, internal medicine and pulmonary critical care physicians, DMG created an outpatient therapeutic consideration protocol to support COVID-19 patients early in their illness.
DMG then piloted the therapeutic consideration protocol among its highest risk COVID-19 patients (those with significant underlying medical conditions such as emphysema, congestive heart failure or morbid obesity) and found that only 10% required hospitalization and 100% made a full recovery.
“Using this outpatient strategy allows us to support our COVID-19 patients early in their illness, before they require hospitalization,” said Dr. Mia Taormina, infectious disease physician, chair of the infectious disease department at DMG. “We have seen success using these therapeutic strategies among our highest risk COVID-19 patients and look forward to standardizing this approach organization-wide in the coming days.”
Research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine indicates that COVID-19 patients had fewer complications when they took aspirin. As part of the study, COVID-19 patients who were given aspirin early as an outpatient were 43% less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), 44% less likely to be put on a ventilator and 47% less likely to die. Furthermore, on November 6, the University of Oxford announced it will add aspirin as a potential treatment for COVID-19 as part of a clinical trial.
“With COVID-19 cases surging, there is a lot of concern around how challenging these next few months will be, before we have a vaccine,” said Dr. Mathew Philip, internal medicine physician and Medical Director of Clinical Innovation at DMG. “The good news is that among our COVID-19 patients, we’re seeing this protocol make a dramatic difference in saving lives and helping our patients make full recoveries.”
The therapeutic consideration protocol was developed by the following DMG physicians: Dr. Jonathan Claud (Immediate Care), Dr. Ravi Nemivant (Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care), Dr. Mathew Philip (BreakThrough Care Center/Internal Medicine), Dr. Ted Shieh (Immediate Care) and Dr. Mia Taormina (Infectious Disease).
DISCLAIMER: This therapeutic consideration protocol is not being used for pediatric patients. If you are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, consult with your primary care provider before taking aspirin or supplements.
About DuPage Medical Group
DuPage Medical Group (DMG) is the largest independent, multi-specialty physician group in Illinois with more than 750 primary care and specialty care physicians in over 100 suburban Chicago locations. For more than 20 years, DMG has focused on making healthcare better for its patients and communities by offering high quality, compassionate healthcare. As a physician-led organization, DMG’s physicians work together – utilizing leading-edge technology and innovative treatment options – to ensure that each patient receives accessible and efficient healthcare. For more information visit www.dupagemedicalgroup.com.