The impact of life-support on COVID-19 drugs

Research Area
Does ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) life support for breathing and heart assistance in coronavirus patients, affect the dosage of COVID-19 drugs?

Some COVID-19 patients develop severe respiratory, or cardiorespiratory failure, requiring ECMO support for heart and breathing assistance.

Some types of drugs are vulnerable to loss during ECMO therapy. This research project will investigate whether the main COVID-19 drugs (chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir and remdesivir) are vulnerable to drug loss during ECMO therapy. This may help explain the high mortality (approximately 50%) in this patient sub-group.

This research aims to confirm the amount of drug loss during ECMO therapy and establish new dosing recommendations.

Dr Jayesh Dhanani
ICU Consultant
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

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