Coronavirus patients taking hydroxychloroquine, were no less likely to need mechanical ventilation and had higher deaths rates compared to those who did not take the drug, according to a study of hundreds of patients at US Veterans Health Administration medical centers.
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The study, which reviewed veterans’ medical charts, was posted Tuesday on medrxiv.org, a pre-print server, meaning it was not peer reviewed or published in a medical journal. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia.
In the study of 368 patients, 97 patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a 27.8% death rate. The 158 patients who did not take the drug had an 11.4% death rate.
In another recent study, researchers in France examined medical records for 181 Covid-19 patients who had pneumonia and required supplemental oxygen. About half had taken hydroxychloroquine within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital, and the other half had not.
It found there was no statistically significant difference in the death rates of the two groups, or their chances of being admitted to the intensive care unit. However, it found eight patients who took the drug developed abnormal heart rhythms and had to stop taking it. This research also has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.