The COVID-19 virus as seen under a microscope.
Dr. Caren and Dr. Urman's Heart Health e-Newsletter
SPECIAL EDITION # 4 - Sunday, April 12, 2020
The latest from Drs Urman and Caren regarding the coronavirus pandemic as well as staying heart healthy
This complimentary monthly educational service is for our patients and their families but please forward it to anyone who might find it of interest. It usually is sent out the first Friday of each month but since March, in order to keep our patients educated with the latest updated information on the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had weekly special editions as well. Click here to enter our website and learn more about our practice. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make an appointment.
Dear patients and friends,
We sincerely hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy during this most challenging and unprecedented time. On behalf of everyone at COR Medical Group, please know that our thoughts are with you and your loved ones, and with all who have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As health care providers, there is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our patients. This situation is totally unprecedented and so very challenging for all of us. Yet it is an opportunity for us to connect (perhaps only virtually) to each other more than ever before. Let us be smart and not panic and rise to the occasion to help each other out to get through all of this together. And get through it, we will.
Prior COVID-19 Heart Health e-Newsletters
March 22, 2020
March 29, 2020
April 6, 2020
As we did in our last several editions of our e-newsletter below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).
First are questions pertinent to your care with your cardiologist and updated office policies during this challenging time. Some of this has been updated since last week's newsletter. Subsequently there are general questions and answers that have been updated and then there are the latest relevant cardiac and coronavirus news stories.
[Author’s note: This e-newsletter was written on Sunday, April 12, 2020. The subject matter is rapidly changing, and the recommendations below may be out of date within a few days. Find the latest general recommendations from the LA County Dept of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control by clicking on the links.]
Is your office open?
Yes, we are open with limited hours. However, we are seeing only urgent appointments in the office that cannot be handled by other means. We are handling everything else by phone or virtual / telemedicine (more below). We are here for you. However, we have limited staff to help reduce risk of exposure for you, our staff and the community at large. Some of our staff have been set up to provide service from home as they are able to do.
Are you performing cardiac testing?
Only if absolutely necessary and felt to be urgent. All elective testing has been put on hold for the safety of everyone. Arrangements for lab tests that are not felt to be able to be postponed will be handled on an individual basis. Please call our office to discuss if you have any questions or concerns.
Should I cancel my upcoming appointment?
You should call us and change it to a virtual visit or telemedicine visit, if at all possible. We are encouraging our patients to stay safe at home and take advantage of technology to continue their medical care. While in individual cases, our physicians might feel that some patients might be better served in person here in the office, for the foreseeable future the majority of visits can and will be done virtually until the coronavirus epidemic is behind us. This is for your safety as well as ours (and the whole community’s).
How can I arrange a virtual visit?
Click here for more information. However, feel free to call our office and as we have done more of these virtual visits, both our patients and doctors have found them to be quite helpful, reassuring and important in this challenging time. Some patients wonder why some issues cannot be handled just by a phone call. However, a virtual visit, while not quite as ideal as an in-person visit, allows your doctor to "lay eyes on you" which can be worth a lot and, in our experience, allows for a better interpersonal connection. Also it allows a more complete review of your medical situation and assessment by the doctor. These visits are covered by Medicare and likely will be increasingly covered by private insurance.
As long as you exercise caution while exercising outdoors
CEDARS-SINAI PHYSICIAN STUDIES ANTIVIRAL DRUG
In a study of severely ill COVID-19 patients, Jonathan Grein, MD, director of Hospital Epidemiology, found that of patients treated with the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, 68% improved clinically. Grein co-authored the analysis, published inThe New English Journal Of Medicine last week on April 10. “Currently there is no proven treatment for COVID-19. We cannot draw definitive conclusions from these data, but the observations from this group of hospitalized patients who received remdesivir are hopeful," said Grein, who also leads the Special Pathogens Response Team at Cedars-Sinai. “We look forward to the results of controlled clinical trials to potentially validate these findings.”
Cedars-Sinai is continuing to explore remdesivir as a therapeutic option for patients as part of a large international randomized controlled study sponsored by the NIH (see next section).
COVID-19 RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Cedars-Sinai physicians and investigators are making extraordinary strides during this unprecedented health crisis. These are just a few of the high-impact COVID-19 studies currently in development in Cedars-Sinai’s laboratories:
- Raj Makkar, MD, is leading a Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute study into the potential benefits of cell therapy for critically ill COVID-19 patients. The trial aims to determine whether the therapy can curb organ damage during disease progression.
- Another study, led by Stanley Jordan, MD, director of Cedars-Sinai’s HLA and Transplant Immunology Laboratory, will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the drug clazakizumab for COVID-19 patients. Investigators will examine whether the drug may protect patients from becoming sick enough to require a ventilator.
- Cedars-Sinai is participating in an NIH-sponsored international effort to understand whether the antiviral drug remdesivir is safe and beneficial for treating COVID-19 patients. Victor Tapson, MD, director of clinical research at the Women’s Guild Lung Institute is leading Cedars-Sinai’s effort.
- In a collaborative effort between the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and the Women’s Guild Lung Institute, Barry Stripp, MD and Clive Svendsen, PhD, have created microscopic "lung organoids," that mimic the human lung, and are using them for screening and discovery of novel antiviral drug molecules.
We are here for you. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns and take advantage of technology to stay medically connected with us to keep you healthy.
Share Your Experience
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