SAHZU Helps out US Counterparts to Battle with COVID-19



SAHZU shares its experience of treating COVID-19 with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU) and Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School, two world-leading American medical institutions, via video conference at 8 AM, March 20 Beijing time.

82 US infectious disease experts attended the conference, including Prof. David Thomas, director of Infectious Diseases at JHU, Prof. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of Infectious Diseases at JHU and past president of Infectious Diseases Society of America, Prof. Cynthia Sears, also past president of Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Prof. Paul Sax, clinical director of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Prof. Paul Auwaerter told SAHZU that their division has been holding meetings almost every day to prepare guidance for JHU’s 5 hospitals regarding the clinical care of COVID-19 patients and infection prevention and control. Their team is very interested to learn about Chinese experience and success with therapeutics for COVID-19 cases, such as early intervention methods, criteria for hospitalization and discharge, patient characteristics associated with the highest risk of progression, treatment approach, doctor training etc.


At the conference, SAHZU President Prof. WANG Jian’an first elaborated on the “SAHZU Experience” in preventing the disease from spreading in the hospital setting. Prof. Wang explained how SAHZU set up 10 function working teams to cope with the outbreak while coordinating human and medical resources to support Wuhan. Methods like management of patient flow, different quarantine measures for hospital staff returning from areas of different epidemic risks, and protection of front-line medical professionals etc. were introduced. An innovative method to monitor staff’s health condition on mobile app was also highlighted in the conversation.

SAHZU Executive Vice President Prof. WANG Weilin and Chair of General Surgery ICU Prof. LI Libin, who have been both working with Wuhan medical team since February, shared their valuable experience in handling the disease. From what they observed in their Wuhan ICU unit, it usually takes about 3 weeks for critical patients to recover from the infection. But the recovering time largely depends on patient’s age and the severity of their conditions. Anti-viral drugs such as Abidore and Ribavirin are used on their patients. However, they also pointed out that at present no clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of any anti-viral drugs for the treatment of COVID-19. Both doctors asked for special attention on possible side effects and suggested that the Abidore and Ribavirin should not be used on patients for more than 10 days. For patients with progressively worsening radiological manifestation, steroids in small dose for 3 to 5 days is a recommended therapy, which should be able to significantly improve pulmonary effusion and blood oxygen level. Plasma from recovered patients were used by the team on a few sever patients, but its efficacy needs further investigation.

According to WHO, as of 12 PM March 20 Beijing time, over 120, 000 cases of COVID-19 outside China have been reported. There have been 14,267 cases in the United States with 211 deaths.