MGH Doctor Says Nitric Oxide Could Help Treat COVID-19


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts General Hospital is trying another treatment for COVID-19 patients, along with a few other hospitals in the country—nitric oxide.

Dr. Warren Zapol, the emeritus Anesthetist-in-Chief at MGH and Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, said nitric oxide, a colorless gas, is often used to help newborn babies get oxygen into their lungs. It's also been used to treat SARS patients.

"Nitric oxide makes the lung work better, it tells the blood vessels to dilate," Zapol said. "Basically it's inhaled and it kills the bugs in the lung...in the mouth or the nose, wherever you want to go."

Zapol calls it "miraculous" and said it could be used at any stage symptoms, although earlier is probably better. He even said healthcare workers could be given this before and after a shift, although the use of nitric oxide for coronavirus still requires trials before being put into practice.

"When you turn the nitric oxide on, add it to your ventilator or your breathing, it instantly makes you pinker, I don't know of any other drug that does that," Zapol said. He means they're regained their color—like in the case of babies who have turned blue from lack of oxygen.

According to Zapol, nitric oxide has worked on SARS patients in China who struggled with breathing.

MGH is currently testing the gas on random patients and it will take a while to see how well it works, Zapol said.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports

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