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Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine


Introduction: The pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is on the raise in our country and there is there is no specific treatment modality available presently. The treatment of the disease largely remains symptomatic but repurposed drugs used to treat other disease conditions are being used to treat moderate to severe form of the disease. As the clinical trials for these drugs are ongoing, we conducted this survey to know the physicians’ medical treatment plan for COVID-19 patients. Materials and methods: It was a Web-based questionnaire study. Institutional ethical committee clearance was taken before the commencement of the study. There were a total of 17 questions, the first 6 being about the demographics, place of work, and whether the clinician was involved in the care of COVID-19 patients. Subsequent 11 questions were to assess physician’s awareness and plan of the medical management of the COVID-19 patients. Results: The majority of the clinicians were aware of the various treatment modalities available for the treatment of COVID-19. Regarding the plan for use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), 55% of the total respondents intended to use the drug in combination with azithromycin, even as 62% agreed that there was no clear evidence yet. About 90% of all clinicians, from junior residents to consultants, were monitoring electrocardiogram (ECG) during HCQ therapy; however, there were 10% of physicians who were not practising ECG monitoring. About 68% of clinicians were aware of the various therapeutic options being tested, like convalescent plasma, lopinavir–ritonavir, and 64% knew about remdesivir. There was divergence regarding the use of steroids in a cytokine storm among the physicians, with only 39% of consultants planning to use steroids whereas about 50% of junior residents and 79% of junior consultants were planning to use the drug. Conclusion: The majority of the clinicians involved in the management of COVID-19 were aware of the various drug modalities available for treatment. However, more emphasis on the adverse effects and possible drug interactions is required. There is disaccord regarding the use of steroids in cytokine storm in COVID-19 and further guidelines and educational programs should address these issues. Clinical significance: Clinicians have to be made more aware of the possible adverse effects and drug interactions of the medications used for the treatment of COVID-19. The treatment of the serious, cytokine storm syndrome and the role of steroids must be elucidated as soon as it is feasible.

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