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Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

Royal coronavirus: How the Queen treats ill-health with alternative medical practices – Express

Posted: April 1, 2020 at 3:44 am

In her more active days, the Queen was almost always spotted carrying a small leather case during her extensive travels, the contents of which were divided into 60 compartments. Containing a mystifying expanse of herbal and alternative medicinal cures, including controversial homeopathic remedies, aides would replenish her stores before each trip.

Now, as the deadly coronavirus sweeps the globe and edges closer to the royal family - Prince Charles was yesterday confirmed as having tested positive for COVID-19 - their unconventional choices may well help them and the public defeat the virus.

At 94, the Queen has enjoyed what many would consider as a favourable spell of good health.

Seldom has she cancelled official duties as a result of illness, with her alternative medicine receiving a royal patronage in all but name.

Her age, however, puts her well in the vulnerable and at risk group, especially from the deadly coronavirus.

Palace aides have, since the news broke, been thoroughly cross-checking diaries to trace any encounters Charles and the Queen in the past few weeks.

As far as the Queens album of medicines is concerned, she is known to use arsenicum for food poisoning, cocculus for travel sickness, nut vomica for indigestion, and arnica for jet-lag and bruising.

Yet, she is not the only royal known to use natural remedies and homeopathy to replenish health.

Prince Philip, known for his scepticism, wore a copper bracelet for years in an attempt to ward off arthritis.

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Dr Ali is sure he will make a speedy recovery in using natures bounty, according to the Mail Online.

He told the publication: The Prince is fit and well and rarely falls ill.

Hes in the right place to get better Scotland is good for him.

Meanwhile, coronavirus continues to cripple the UK, the death toll now having reached 465, while nearly 10,000 people have contracted it.

In a bid to slow the virus spread, on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of stringent measures intended to up the ante against COVID-19.

This included urging everyone to stay at home, with gatherings of more than two people banned.

Those who can work from home were told to do so, while only essential workers are permitted to travel to their place of work.

Confusion over certain jobs - construction workers, for example - ensued, with many not knowing whether they qualified as key workers.

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Coronavirus Cure: List Of ‘Promising’ COVID-19 Treatments Revealed By Dr. Oz – International Business Times

Posted: at 3:44 am

KEY POINTS

TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz, who shot to national fame as a regular guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," is touting medical and alternative medicine treatments thatcan strengthen the body's natural defenses against COVID-19.

Thecardiothoracic surgeon has long championed alternative medicine. But he's been assailed by fellow physicians and scientific publications for endorsing unproven products and dispensing non-scientific and pseudo-scientific advice. In 2014, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a study saying than half of his recommendations on medical talk series like "The Dr. Oz Show" had either no evidence or contradicted medical research.

Against the rampaging threat of COVID-19, Dr. Oz's prescription consists of a mixture of legitimate pharmaceuticals and herbal products.

The first thing is, you build up your innate immune system, said Dr. Oz on "Fox & Friends."

You can enhance the immune system with convalescent plasma therapy," which is now being tested in New York City as a treatment for those critically ill from COVID -19.

Dr. Oz said convalescent plasma therapy involves giving antibodies made from a recovered coronavirus patient to another who is ill from the coronavirus.

"That seems to jumpstart them," said Dr. Oz said, referring to the patient's own immune system.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 23 announced plans to resurrect convalescent plasma as an immediate stopgap measure to treat infected people.

"There have been tests that show when a person is injected with the antibodies, that then stimulates and promotes their immune system against that disease," said Cuomo.

Dr. Oz also supports people taking the drug hydroxychloroquine, which he claims is showing promising signs in curing COVID-19 patients.

Thats the malaria drug, we believe thats one of the mechanisms which can play a role," he said of the drug.

On "Hannity" last week, Dr. Oz spoke highly about using hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which is SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2).

He said he was pleased to hear from vice president Mike Pence about the "off-label" use of hydroxychloroquine, but warned against people taking the drug without medical advice.

"I was thrilled when Vice President Pence today told me that he was pleased that the FDA was OK with off-label use," said Dr. Oz. "Basically, what I'm hearing, I'm hoping getting it right is that although we don't want people using off-label products, if physicians need to take care of their patients. The U.S. government respects that reality."

Dr. Oz poses, courtesy of Sony Pictures Television. Photo: Reuters

Dr. Oz said there are drugs that might be effective against COVID-19. Among these is remdesivir, which is now in Phase 3 clinical trials, and is also seen as a promising method of blocking viral replication.

He said the jury is out on whether the drugs lopinavir and ritonavir are effective against the virus. The drugs pirfenidone and aviptadil might prevent the inflammatory system from overreacting to SARS-CoV-2 and both are in the experimental phase.

Dr. Oz said people can also do vitamins. He said "high-dose vitamin C" might play a role in building immunity, but warned the "jury is still out" on its effectiveness. Dr. Oz also said a dose of zinc can help. He claims not only can zinc block SARS-CoV-2 from getting into the bodys cells, but it can also block the virus from replicating.

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Explained: Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? – The Indian Express

Posted: at 3:44 am

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 28, 2020 4:43:41 pm An Indonesian local health service personnel extracts blood from an individual on self-quarantine, as they conduct a COVID-19 rapid test in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Andy Saputra via AP)

There have been multiple advisories from the AYUSH Ministry on COVID-19. Its long list of recommendations include Unani concoctions Sharbat Unnab and Tiryaq Arba, and the homeopathic medicine Arsenicum Album 30 for post-exposure prophylaxis for doctors and caregivers.

In the absence of a scientifically proven cure or preventive for novel coronavirus infection, should one use alternative medicine?

This is what the World Health Organization has to say: While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.

Doctors are discouraging use of drugs recommended by practitioners of alternative medicine because a drug has to be developed keeping in mind its safety and efficacy.

For hydroxychloroquine pushed by the Health Ministry, the efficacy is still being investigated but its safety has been documented through years. No such data are available for any of the traditional remedies on social media.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is new and its nature is still being studied by scientists.

Heres a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk form coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?

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Hemopure – Addresses the Blood Shortage as an Alternative Oxygen Therapeutic – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 3:44 am

PHILADELPHIA, PA / ACCESSWIRE / March 31, 2020 / The American pre-pandemic blood supplies were barely meeting the needs of patients, many of whom rely on transfusions to survive, either because of severe trauma, life-threatening medical conditions, or surgical complications. But in the current state of national emergency, the lack of sufficient supplies threatens to lead to unnecessary loss of life, exacerbating an already tragic situation. The American Red Cross reports a mere 3% of citizens normally donate blood even though 38% of the population are eligible to donate; Every two seconds, someone requires a transfusion; And a single donation could save as many as three lives. Hence, the strong advocacy from the medical and scientific communities for the development and use of blood substitutes, such as the oxygen-carrying solution Hemopure, manufactured by Hemoglobin Oxygen Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company headquartered in Souderton, PA.

While clinicians have been able to use evidence-based medical and surgical concepts to optimize hemostasis and minimize blood loss in an effort to improve patient outcomes, the number of donors over the past few years has dropped significantly, more than negating any savings. An additional risk, this time to the safety of US blood supply, is that despite what officials describe as near-Herculean efforts to screen donated blood for the emerging viruses, the nation's blood supply is not immune from contaminations as was the case a few years ago when the CDC announced that several cases of West Nile illness were attributed to blood transfusions that contained tainted blood.

The push to develop alternatives to traditional blood transfusions has intensified in the 21st century amidst the global population growth and aging, the emergence of new infectious agents, and the seemingly rising number of natural disasters due to climate change. Not only is the number of donors insufficient to meet demand, but the nature of blood is such that it cannot be readily stockpiled, as refrigerated blood has a shelf-life of only 42 days. With multiple positive medical journal articles already published on Hemopure, its characteristics - including no blood typing or cross matching as well as three-year stability without the need for refrigeration - are ideal for out-of-hospital applications and stockpiling for national emergencies. It is no surprise then that the US Department of Defense is funding a large prehospital clinical trial to evaluate use of Hemopure as a resuscitation fluid in conjunction with freeze-dried plasma.

Currently, Hemopure is stocked and used at several hospitals as an investigational product, under FDA's authorized expanded access protocols, for the treatment of severe anemia when blood transfusions are not an option. Interestingly, regulatory authorities in South Africa and Russia have already granted market approval for Hemopure for the treatment of perioperative anemia. "While blood transfusion will always be the gold standard of treatment, there is also an obvious need for alternative products, such as Hemopure, in our healthcare system and emergency preparedness," experts at BloodSupplySolution.com assert. "Stakeholders in government, academic medicine and industry should find a way to work together to make this happen proactively rather than reactively."

Contact Information:

Gail WeissBloodSupplySolution.com267-871-9577gweiss@bloodsupplysolution.comhttp://bloodsupplysolution.com

SOURCE: Hemopure

View source version on accesswire.com: https://www.accesswire.com/583436/Hemopure--Addresses-the-Blood-Shortage-as-an-Alternative-Oxygen-Therapeutic

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Can alternative treatments help with painful fibroids? – Harvard Health

Posted: at 3:44 am

Published: April, 2020

Q. I have uterine fibroids and am experiencing some pain and discomfort from them. Are there any alternative treatments that I can use to help manage my symptoms?

A. If you are experiencing anemia, severe pain, or difficulty with urinating that may be due to fibroids, it's important to seek the advice of a doctor. However, there are some pain management options other than medications or surgery that may help relieve symptoms related to fibroids. These strategies haven't been proven to relieve pain from fibroids, but The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, in a 2017 review of complementary approaches to chronic pain, found they have some promise in helping other types of chronic pain, specifically lower back pain. These include acupuncture, an alternative medicine treatment that uses small needles applied at specific sites on the body to relieve chronic pain; yoga, a type of low-impact exercise that includes a series of postures and breathing techniques; relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and mindfulness (a practice that encourages staying focused on the present moment); tai chi, originally practiced as a form of self-defense, which incorporates slow, deliberate movements and deep breathing exercises; and massage performed by a massage therapist.

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How the Queen relies on homeopathic remedies to keep her well during the coronavirus outbreak – The Scottish Sun

Posted: at 3:44 am

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THE Queen is known as one of the hardier members of the royal family, having only cancelled royal engagements due to ill health on a handful of occasions.

And according to insiders Her Majesty may have alternative medicine to thank for her good health.

Read ourcoronavirus live blogfor the latest news & updates

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During overseas engagements the monarch would be accompanied by a small leather case with a bewildering supply of homeopathic remedies, according to the Daily Mails Richard Kay.

The case would include arsenicum album for food poisoning, cocculus for travel sickness, nux vomica for indigestion and arnica, for jet-lag and bruising.

And it seems as though the alternative medicine has served the monarch well as she has remained astonishingly resilient throughout her reign.

Apparently homeopathy runs in the family with her father George VI relying heavily on alternative medicine and naming a racehorse Hypericum after a remedy.

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The Queen mother, who lived to 101 was also said to be a fan of homeopathy.

On Wednesday it was confirmed their grandfather, Prince Charles, has tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement fromClarence House confirmed the heir apparent, aged 71, tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile the Queen is "in good health" and isolating with Prince Philip after meeting Boris Johnson two weeks ago.

Buckingham Palace today said the 93-year-old monarch was well after thePM confirmed he had tested positive for the bug.

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And Kate Middleton's faveFrench designer has just released a capsule collection for a fraction of their usual cost.

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Feds Warn Telemarketers to Stop the Coronavirus Robocall Scams – The Daily Beast

Posted: at 3:43 am

Federal regulators fired a shot across the bow of a host of telemarketing firms on Friday, warning them against propping up illegal robocalling scams seeking to cash in on the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff at the Federal Trade Commission have reason to believe that one or more of your customers may be involved in such illegal telemarketing campaigns, the FTC wrote in letters to nine call center companies dated March 27. Many of these robocalls prey upon consumer fear of the pandemic to perpetrate scams or disseminate disinformation.

Government agencies and private watchdog groups have tallied thousands of such robocalls, which attempt to bilk consumers with offers of discounted health insurance and free coronavirus testing kits. They represent one of several new targets of government-wide efforts to crack down on scammers using the virus outbreak to try to cash in.

There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus, FTC chairman Joe Simons said in a statement on Fridays warning letters. What we dont need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. Were prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.

The Federal Communications Commission is also monitoring coronavirus-related telemarketing scams. Its even set up a website where visitors can listen to recordings of scam phone calls and find information on weeding out and reporting the scammers.

We are aware of and concerned by scam calls and texts trying to prey on consumers during this crisis, an FCC spokesperson told The Daily Beast last week. We hope consumers will use extreme caution and will refrain from providing any suspicious callers or texters with any personal or financial information. As we review consumer complaints about specific scam patterns, we will work to help consumers stay informed.

Archives of coronavirus-related robocalls set up by the FCC and privately run websites such as NoMoRobo and YouMail reveal some templates for the various scammers trying to capitalize on the outbreak. Many offer free coronavirus testing kits. Others hawk health insurance or various Medicare supplemental plans. Some even impersonate federal agencies themselvesDear citizen, this is United States Department of Health, one recorded caller says, if you wish to talk to a health advisor right now please press one.

Federal law allows the FTC to seek civil penalties against companies engaged in illegal robocalling, which includes any automated marketing calls that make a false or misleading statement to induce any person to pay for goods or services or to induce a charitable contribution.

The novel coronavirus has dominated headlines for weeks now, and fears about its spread provide fertile ground for scammers looking to market fake health care products. Nearly as concerning as overt efforts to extract money from unsuspecting consumers is the disinformation about the virus that these appeals often spread.

The FTC and the Food and Drug Administration have also gone after homeopathic medicine proponents and other natural wellness websites of late over false claims that their products can cure or mitigate the coronavirus. The agencies highest profile target to date is Jim Bakker, a televangelist who has promoted fabricated silver-based cures to the virus on his popular talk show.

The state of Missouri is now suing Bakker to prevent him from making such claims. A post on his website headlined Covid-19 Coronavirus, building immunity, staying healthy and the benefits of Silver Solution is no longer publicly accessible.

Others targeted in the federal governments crackdown on such misinformation have been more obstinate. After receiving a warning letter on March 6, the website Herbal Amy, a natural medicine website that had promoted various plant-based coronavirus remedies, removed the post flagged in the letter from its website. But two weeks after the letter was sent, Herbal Amys Facebook page doubled down on the underlying claims.

Cinchona [tree bark] is the only economically practical source of quinine, a drug that is still recommended for the treatment of malaria and now Coronavirus, the page read. If anyone tells you that herbs don't work, they are either ignorant to facts or lying.

Additional FTC action against other sources of such misinformation indicates that it hasnt slowed up since the commission went after Bakker, Herbal Amy, and five other companies earlier this month. Last week, the FTC sent two more warning letters to companies engaged in similar practices. One of them, corona-cure.com, appears to have removed its website entirely since receiving a warning letter on Thursday. Postings on another website, carahealth.com, claiming that the virus can be addressed through Chinese medicinal herb extracts remained publicly accessible on Sunday afternoon despite a warning letter also sent on Thursday.

Though few news consumers have likely come across sources of information as obscure as those, such misinformation is not confined to fringey alternative medicine Facebook pages. Some large, widely read news outlets have peddled similar alternative medicine and homeopathic remedies.

The health vertical on conservative news giant Newsmax is a hotbed of such claims. As the coronavirus spread, it published debunked claims that originated on an alternative medicine website that regular doses of vitamin C could slow or entirely stop the spread of the virus.

Newsmax has promoted other dubious remedies as well. Zinc Lozenges May Help Combat Coronavirus declared the headline of a March 17 story that linked to a McGill University blog post that found the exact opposite. A story in its health section a week later promoted traditional Eastern medicine remedies as a coronavirus treatment.

Newsmax has not been singled out by federal health authorities for spreading false information about coronavirus treatments. But as it runs those stories, its also served readers with ads that warn of impending financial disaster due to the virus. That was enough to earn a stern warning from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which demanded that the site stop claiming, falsely, that banks might soon raid Americans retirement accounts.

The FDIC has repeatedly sought to contact Newsmax to stop publishing these false ads and to issue a correction to its readers, the agency wrote in a statement. The media organization has not responded to these requests.

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Madras HC directs govt committee to consider representation for use of Indian traditional medicine to treat COVID-19 [Read Order] – Bar & Bench -…

Posted: at 3:43 am

The petitioners had urged for the use of alternative medicines by way of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy and Naturopathy to treat the Coronavirus, apart from the allopathy methods.

The Madras High Court on Monday directed the state government to consider representations made to test Siddha (Indian traditional herbal medicine treatment) for the curing the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Two members of the Ayush Medical Welfare Association, K Muthu Kumar Nayakar and Dr KM Senthamizh Selvan, had made representations to this effect. The had moved a writ petition in the High Court urging that their representations be considered by the state government in a time-bound manner.

The petitioners had urged that the government allow the use of alternative medicines by way of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy and Naturopathy to treat COVID-19, apart from the allopathy methods commonly used.

During the hearing conducted through video conferencing, Additional Advocate General Arvindh Pandian told the Court that the state government has already constituted a Technical Committee comprising various experts who would consider such representations.

The Bench of Justices Dr. Vineet Kothari and R Suresh Kumar therefore issued notice returnable by four weeks, and directed that the petitioners representations be considered by the governments Technical Committee in the meanwhile.

Further, the Bench has also directed the state government to look into provision of hand sanitisers, soaps and masks which can be supplied at large for the public to guard against the spread of COVID-19. The Court added,

We hope and expect that the said Committee and the State Government shall take appropriate decision in this matter as quickly as possible, so that the public at large can avail the benefit of the same, immediately."

Madras High Court

The matter has been posted to be taken up after four weeks, when the Courts are expected to resume regular working after the lockdown period.

Madras HC - Use of alternative medicine for COVID-19 - March 30 Order .pdf

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Ohio Valley Facing Pandemic With A Health System Hollowed Out By Hospital Closures – WKU Public Radio

Posted: at 3:43 am

As new cases of coronavirus mount in the Ohio Valley, health officials are bracing for an onslaught of patients and what could be unprecedented demand for beds, medical staff and specialized equipment.

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia have disproportionately high rates of people vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19. But the regions capacity to treat them has been sharply reduced by the closure of some 21 hospitals over the past 15 years. An analysis by the Ohio Valley ReSource shows some of the communities where hospitals have closed have some of the nations poorest health outcomes, making them especially vulnerable.

Still more hospitals in the region are being closed now, even as the pandemic unfolds.

Click to hear Liam's story about how Ohio Valley health care systems are handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Tiffany Wilburn-Meeks has lived in eastern Kentucky's Greenup County for most of her 38 years. And the hospital her family has always relied on is only a five-minute drive away.

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital is where she would go if she was sick growing up, and its where she was considering taking her 23-month-old daughter Darian for speech therapy. Its also where her mom, Judy, would go if an asthma attack turned for the worst.

But I think if she'd had to go to Kings Daughters [Hospital], I don't know that she would have survived the drive because it's 10 or 15 more minutes down the road.

But by May, her family wont be able to rely on Our Lady of Bellefonte anymore. The 220-bed hospital with more than 1,000 employees started by a congregation of Catholic sisters in 1953 with the blessing of the pope via telegram will close its doors.

That would leave 35,000 people in Greenup County without a hospital, forcing those who need intensive medical care to drive to Kings Daughters Hospital in Ashland. This comes as many Ohio Valley public health officials are bracing for the coronavirus to reach their communities.

While the number of confirmed cases in her region have not reached levels in larger cities, she knows the number will grow.

If it does, there's no way that Kings Daughters is going to be able to handle that, she said. It is terrifying, and I'm afraid that people will die as a consequence of the hospital closing.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Kings Daughters Hospital said they were working daily with Our Lady of Bellefonte to potentially expand the capacity of Kings Daughters if patient needs surge due to coronavirus.

Wilburn-Meek started an online petition to try to call attention to the situation and save the hospital, but she isnt optimistic shell be successful. And more than a dozen communities across the Ohio Valley are facing a similar situation.

Our Lady of Bellefonte will join at least 21 other hospital closures in the Ohio Valley within the past 15 years. The Ohio Valley Resource estimates those 21 closures represented more than 1,000 hospital beds in total.

Some shuttered hospital sites are now vacant parking lots. Some have been turned into addiction rehab facilities or urgent care facilities, but those often have limited or no in-patient services.

These closures have left a hollowed out healthcare infrastructure in the Ohio Valley, and leading healthcare professionals worry that the loss of hospital beds, skilled staff and equipment combined with a population that is especially vulnerable to COVID-19 disease could hinder how well the region can respond to the coronavirus.

Running Out

For 15 years, Marlene Moore was lead nurse of the intensive care unit at Ohio Valley Medical Center in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. She would make determinations about who would be admitted and who would be discharged, who would be transferred to other departments and hospitals, and helping younger nurses with questions and assistance.

That time came to an end when the company that owned OVMC and another hospital in nearby Martins Ferry, Ohio, announced last year both hospitals would close. Along with Belmont Community Hospital also closing, three hospitals in total last year shuttered in the Wheeling metropolitan area.

It was just devastating, because especially at our smaller hospitals, the employees know everybody. I mean, from housekeeping, to dietary to the lab, to all the departments, Moore said. It affected the whole valley.

Moore started working last month at what is now the only hospital in town, Wheeling Hospital, where a coronavirus patient is currently being treated.

She said because Wheeling Hospital often has many beds filled with patients having other needs, those needing a bed for coronavirus treatment may have to travel a half-hour or more to hospitals in Steubenville, Ohio, Columbus or Pittsburgh.

And its the kind of people her hospital tends to serve that has her particularly worried.

We have such an older population here. And if you get several that come in at the same time with severe respiratory distress, you're going to run out of ICU beds, you're going to run out of ventilators, you're actually going to run out of places to treat these people, she said.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found West Virginia led the nation in how vulnerable its population is to coronavirus because of old age and preexisting conditions. More than half of all adults in West Virginia and more than 45% of all adults in Kentucky were at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus because of advanced age, pre-existing conditions, or both.

A report from Kaiser Health News also found there are only 325 ICU beds for more than 12,000 people over the age of 60 in Ohio County, where Wheeling is located. People over the age of 60 make up 28% of the countys population.

According to an Ohio Valley Resource data analysis, 4 of the 18 counties that lost hospitals over the past 15 years also have some of the worst health outcomes in the nation. Those counties have some of the countrys highest rates of chronic respiratory disease deaths, cardiovascular disease deaths and diabetes prevalence.

Amid closures, remaining Ohio Valley hospitals are reinforcing their capacity for beds, equipment and personal protective equipment for worst case scenarios.

A statement from the West Virginia Hospital Association said hospitals are canceling or rescheduling elective surgeries to free up more beds, in compliance with a state emergency order. Hospitals are converting different departments into infectious disease units, and developing alternative treatment sites. One hospital in Athens, Ohio, has now set up a triage tent to treat potential patients outside.

Rising Costs

Even if Ohio Valley hospitals are able to accommodate a surge of coronavirus patients, the financial toll it could take could devastate rural healthcare providers.

A report last year from Navigant Consulting showed that 16 rural hospitals in Kentucky about a quarter of all rural hospitals in the state were at high risk of closing due to unstable financial situations. Some of the reasons cited for financial struggles include population loss with fewer people to serve, and more patients insured through Medicare and Medicaid, which often undercompensates hospitals for treatment.

Those ongoing challenges will only be made worse by the pandemic.

The payment mechanism for treating these patients is not clear at this point. The unusually long length of stay I think is a concern with the very sick of these patients who typically end up, or have ended up, on ventilator care, which is very expensive and resource intensive to deliver, said Bud Warman, Kentucky Hospital Association Vice President and former CEO of Highlands Regional Medical Center in east Kentucky. They haven't always had potentially this much volume of wants to deal with.

The American Hospital Association is asking for $100 billion from Congress to offset anticipated coronavirus costs, while some rural hospitals struggle to ration protective medical supplies. A bill being considered by the Kentucky Senate would also provide a loan program for struggling rural hospitals.

Warman also said when hospitals have closed in Appalachia, there are often few options remaining for the people the provider served.

In some cases, they just don't have adequate transportation to get them that longer distance, Warman said. If they're deciding between food on the table or traveling 50 miles to see a doctor or to seek health care, oftentimes, they make the choice for food on the table. It sounds dire, but the fact is in many parts of our state, many parts of Appalachia, that is the case.

Whats Left

In central West Virginia, Michael Brumage is leading one of the remaining options for those without easy access to a hospital.

As Chief Medical Officer of Cabin Creek Health Systems, he directs several Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide preventative care and substance abuse treatment, often for people who are low-income or uninsured. His experience also extends across multiple organizations: Brumage serves as director of the Preventative Medicine Residency Program in the WVU School of Public Health, was former executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, and former health officer for Kanawha County and Putnam County, West Virginia.

His staff is preparing to treat patients who have respiratory symptoms outside of the centers in order to prevent the spread of the virus inside their buildings, and theyll also have curbside service for those with respiratory symptoms.

Our public health system has been underfunded for many, many years, at the federal, state and local levels, Brumage said. So we're fortunate, I think that there are federally qualified health centers, that there are free and charitable clinics that are able to pick up the slack.

But even with his centers, there are still intensive, in-patient services that he cant provide, that a hollowed out healthcare infrastructure has left lacking.

Brumage was born in Fairmont Regional Medical Center in Fairmont, West Virginia. So was his sister. Hes had several relatives whove been hospitalized there over the years. The hospital is set to close this week.

It's befuddling to me how they can close this hospital during a pandemic, when there are going to be so many more beds that need to be filled. It staggers the imagination, Brumage said.

While a hospital is being built to replace Fairmont Regional, Brumage is worried that it will be too late for the demand for hospital beds, ventilators and skilled staff needed to respond to the pandemic.

There will be many competing economic priorities once this clears to restore the American economy, Brumage said. But shame on us if we don't invest in our public health infrastructure, and if we don't invest in our overall health infrastructure, and if we don't look for ways to make health care equitable for all Americans.

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Ohio Valley Facing Pandemic With A Health System Hollowed Out By Hospital Closures - WKU Public Radio

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A week into lockdown: Disruption in supply of essential medicines, dearth of staff at drug stores – The Indian Express

Posted: at 3:43 am

Written by Prabha Raghavan, Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad, New Delhi | Published: April 1, 2020 3:03:19 am The shortage of manpower, coupled with an ongoing fear of disciplinary action by law enforcement authorities, means that stocks of medicines have been slow to reach retail outlets despite them being considered essential. (File Photo)

Nearly a week after the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2), India is still facing hiccups in ensuring adequate and timely supplies of medicines. The shortage of manpower, coupled with an ongoing fear of disciplinary action by law enforcement authorities, means that stocks of medicines have been slow to reach retail outlets despite them being considered essential.

For instance, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine medicines like Ipca Laboratories HCQS and Lariago are still stocked out in several pharmacies in Delhi.

Hydroxychloroquine, especially, is used by several patients with auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, according to Fortis Memorial Research Institute rheumatology consultant Dr Naval Mendiratta.

Further, stocks of blood pressure medicines, insulin and other medicines to treat diabetes have stopped making their way to distributors, said All India Chemists and Distributors Fedration president Kailash Gupta.

The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), too, on March 29 wrote to various pharmaceutical associations to support and ensure adequate stocks of medicines at their depots and to coordinate transportation to chemists and druggists.

At present, it is reported from all states that stock level is going down and may last for the next 15-20 days. Therefore, we request you to please look into the issue and ensure that sufficient stock is maintained at your stock points, stated AIOCD president JS Shinde and general secretary Rajiv Singhal in the letter.

Meanwhile, a large number of medical stores in and around Hyderabad enlisted in the essential establishments during the lockdown have downed their shutters. If a disruption in supply leading to a shortage in stock is one reason, the absence of workers from attending to their duties is another.

According to Kishan Murary Shetty, general secretary of the Greater Hyderabad Retail Medical Shops Association, around 60 per cent of medical stores in the city are shut as of today.

Employees are unable to come to work. Most of them depend on public transport and are unable to reach for work. Others who own vehicles are being stopped at police checkpoints and despite showing ID cards they are not being allowed to go, he said.

Heres a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Heres why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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A week into lockdown: Disruption in supply of essential medicines, dearth of staff at drug stores - The Indian Express

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