COVID patients whose lungs have been damaged by the virus have needed mechanical ventilation.
Many patients who have been placed on ventilators have not survived.
Now researchers are testing a new drug delivery system designed to improve the oxygen levels of the sickest patients.
More than 31 million Americans have become sick with COVID since the pandemic began. In that time pulmonologists have learned much more about how the virus attacks the lungs.
“We recognized that COVID did the same thing that pulmonary hypertension does to the blood vessels of the lungs. It causes a dropout of these pulmonary vessels, so that the conduits to which the body delivers blood to the lungs to get oxygen we’re disappearing,” said Raymond Benza, MD, The Ohio State University Medical Center.
Now researchers at Ohio State are testing a new way to deliver medication directly to the damaged blood vessels.
The Ventaprost system works along with a mechanical ventilator to generate and deliver small droplets of an inhaled medication.
“It involves an even distribution of this drug which is called Epoprostenol to the affected areas of the blood vessels,” said Dr. Benza.
Doctors said that this method of direct delivering the drug helps open up the blood vessels, improves oxygen, and reduces strain on the heart.
With Ventaprost, doctors are hopeful they can improve outcome for COVID’s sickest patients.