— Drug to be given to comatose Illinois patient after docs refused
by Jennifer Henderson, Enterprise & Investigative Writer, MedPage Today May 4, 2021
An Illinois judge has ordered a hospital to give ivermectin to a comatose patient with few options left.
Judge James Orel of DuPage County ordered Edward-Elmhurst Hospital to allow 68-year-old COVID-19 patient Nurije Fype to receive the drug, even though it isn’t endorsed by federal health agencies, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Fox 32 Chicago reported that Fype, who has been in the intensive care unit since early last month and is currently on a ventilator, has since received her first dose.
Her daughter, Desareta Fype, enlisted the help of a New York law firm that has taken on other ivermectin cases to force the hospital’s hand after none of its doctors would agree to administer the drug, according to the local media outlets. The Tribune reported Tuesday that an outside doctor was granted credentials at the hospital to administer the ivermectin.
“‘Why wouldn’t this be tried if she’s not improving?'” the Tribune quoted Judge Orel as saying during a court hearing. “‘Why does the hospital object to providing this medication? If someone has been in the ICU for a month and not improving, why would the hospital not consider another medication?'”
Desareta Fype learned of the drug after reading about its use in another COVID-19 patient in the Buffalo News, the Tribune reported. That story detailed how, after a judge ordered Western New York’s Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital to give 80-year-old Judith Smentkiewicz ivermectin, her family and attorneys believed the drug saved her life.
Ivermectin has garnered attention in recent months in part due to a group called the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, or FLCCC, MedPage Today previously reported. The physician-led group has posted its own review and analysis of the ivermectin literature on its website, and one of its doctors testified at a Senate hearing on early treatments for COVID-19.
The group holds that ivermectin has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties well-suited for preventive use and treating early and late-stage illness.
However, health regulators continue to caution that, though there are approved uses for ivermectin in people and animals — including to combat parasitic worms — it is not approved for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Potential side effects of the drug include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as facial or limb swelling, neurologic adverse events, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and liver injury, according to the FDA. The agency also issued a letter warning against the use of ivermectin doses intended for animals as public interest surrounding the drug increased.
Additional testing, the FDA says, is needed to determine whether the drug might be appropriate to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Elmhurst Hospital did not immediately provide a comment on the case. Attorneys for Desareta Fype did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
- Jennifer Henderson joined MedPage Today as an enterprise and investigative writer in Jan. 2021. She has covered the healthcare industry in NYC, life sciences and the business of law, among other areas.