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More hospitals see lawsuits from family members of COVID-19 patients seeking the drug.
As hospitals continue to admit COVID-19 patients, some are contending with demands from family members to attempt to treat their loved ones with ivermectin.
Just last week, the CDC warned healthcare professionals to steer patients away from the drug. But that hasn’t stopped the pressure on hospitals, and the outcomes of new legal cases to force hospitals to provide the drug to struggling, ventilated patients have been mixed.
In the case of Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois, a Sangamon County judge earlier this week ruled in favor of the hospital, the State Journal-Register reported.
Anita Clouse had sought to force Memorial Medical Center, part of Memorial Health System, to allow her husband, Randy Clouse, 61, to receive ivermectin, the State Journal-Register reported. Ralph Lorigo, a New York lawyer who represents Anita and has also taken on a bevy of other ivermectin cases, said in a court hearing that “she should have a right to try to save her husband.”
However, Memorial Medical Center countered in court documents that Randy Clouse’s condition was improving, and that he no longer had an active COVID infection, the State Journal-Register reported. The hospital further said that Clouse’s physicians “believe administration of ivermectin will likely result in kidney and lung damage, which can lead to organ failure and death.
Randy and Anita Clouse were both unvaccinated and contracted COVID in July, the State Journal-Register reported. Anita had only mild symptoms, but Randy was admitted to the hospital shortly after he tested positive, and has since been placed on a ventilator and started on dialysis, the State Journal-Register reported, citing court documents.
Anita Clouse told the State Journal-Register that she and her husband knew about ivermectin before it was discussed by Fox News commentators because the couple bred German Shepherds and had given the drug to their dogs for parasites. She said that her husband previously told her he would want to receive the drug should he become sick with COVID.
Though the courts sided with the hospital in the Springfield case, a judge in Cincinnati, Ohio recently ruled in favor of a patient’s family.
Last week, a Butler County judge ordered West Chester Hospital, part of the University of Cincinnati (UC Health) network, to provide Jeffrey Smith, 51, with ivermectin, the Ohio Capital Journal reported. In that case, Jeffrey’s wife, Julie Smith, found ivermectin on her own and filed suit against the hospital. Julie is also represented by Lorigo.
The Ohio Capital Journal reported that court records show Jeffrey Smith contracted COVID in July, was subsequently admitted to the hospital, and placed on a ventilator at the beginning of August. It is not clear whether he was vaccinated.
Court records in the case against West Chester Hospital further show that Julie Smith reached out to Fred Wagshul, MD, who prescribed ivermectin to her husband before the hospital refused to provide it, according to the Ohio Capital Journal. Wagshul is listed in the suit as a founding physician of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, which as MedPage Today previously reported, has long promoted ivermectin.
Though federal agencies have continued to warn against the use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID as well as about its potentially deleterious side effects, proponents have pointed to purported success stories.
Earlier this year, in another case in Illinois, a DuPage County judge ordered Edward-Elmhurst Hospital to allow 68-year-old COVID patient Nurije Fype to receive ivermectin.
Chicago internist, Alan Bain, MD — who administered ivermectin to Nurije Fype (and prescribed it to Randy Clouse, along with other COVID patients) — testified at a court hearing this week that Fype was weaned off a ventilator and discharged from the hospital after receiving small amounts of the drug for 20 consecutive days, the State Journal-Register reported.
Nurije Fype’s daughter, Desareta Fype, had learned of ivermectin after reading about its use in another COVID patient in the Buffalo News, the Chicago Tribune reported. That story detailed how, after a judge ordered Western New York’s Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital to give 80-year-old Judith Smentkiewicz ivermectin, her family and attorneys believed the drug saved her life.
It was not immediately clear, however, what direct effect ivermectin may have had on the hospital discharges of Nurije Fype or Judith Smentkiewicz. Physicians say these patients may have recovered on their own, without the drug.
The CDC reiterated in its warning to healthcare professionals last week that ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID. The agency added that the NIH has also determined there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for the treatment of COVID.
The CDC did say that there are ongoing clinical trials that might provide more information about these “hypothesized uses.”
Lorigo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the recent ivermectin cases in Illinois and Ohio. A spokesperson for Memorial Health System declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for UC Health.
Créditos: Comité científico Covid