Huntsville hospital doctor still using hydroxychloroquine; WHO suspends trial

Updated: May. 27, 2020 at 7:20 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The World Health Organization decided to suspend trials on hydroxychloroquine.

This Tuesday, April 7, 2020 file photo shows a bottle of hydroxychloroquine tablets in Texas...
This Tuesday, April 7, 2020 file photo shows a bottle of hydroxychloroquine tablets in Texas City, Texas. On Friday, April 24, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned doctors against prescribing the malaria drug to treat COVID-19 outside of hospitals or research settings.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The drug has been widely debated over the last months, and is being used to treat patients in the Tennessee Valley

Dr. Ali Hassoun at Huntsville Hospital says he does understand it is a temporary suspension. But he is still giving it to patients and has not seen any safety concerns from it.

Dr. Hassoun says hydroxychloroquine is one of the most debated drugs he’s seen in the medical community in a long time.

The World Health Organization decided to suspend its trial based on findings from the Lancet.

That journal says they weren’t able to prove using hydroxychloroquine actually benefited patients.

Dr. Hassoun tells me it was a ‘retrospective study.’ That means the Lancent went back and looked at records of patients rather than seeing the patients in person daily.

He says he also thinks many of the patients in the group had other health issues to begin with.

“They had for example came in with much more critical illness, they are more elderly. And these are all risk factors for complication for COVID. And it happened to be, and that’s common. When we see patient, we’re going to start medication when they’re more severe and critical, and it happened to be hydroxychloroquine,” Dr. Hassoun said.

Dr. Hassoun also mentioned he is treating a select number of patients with remdesivir. He says he hasn’t had any safety concerns with that drug either, but is closely monitoring patients.

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