COVID-19 deaths really are different. But best practices for ICU care should still apply, studies suggest.

COVID-19 deaths are indeed different from other lung failure deaths, according to two recent studies, with 56% of COVID-19 patients dying primarily from the lung damage caused by the virus, compared with 22% of those whose lungs fail due to other causes. But, the researchers conclude, the kind of care needed to help sustain people through the worst cases of all forms of lung failure is highly similar, and just needs to be fine-tuned.

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Bringing harmony to chaos: UTHealth trauma surgeon repairs lives

By the time first responders rushed the patient to Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-TMC, life was already slipping away through a stab wound in the neck. The goal of the team: resuscitate and transfer the patient to the operating room, where Laura J. Moore, MD, with UTHealth, would reconstruct his severed blood vessels.

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Unraveling the network of molecules that influence COVID-19 severity

Researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Albany Medical College have identified more than 200 molecular features that strongly correlate with COVID-19 severity, offering insight into potential treatment options for those with advanced disease.

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Lack of Knowledge Is One Barrier to Prone Positioning in Severe ARDS Caused by COVID-19

A new study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society examines ways to increase the use of prone positioning for patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and develops specific implementation strategies that can assist in clinicians’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prone positioning has been shown to reduce mortality related to severe ARDS, yet most patients with ARDS—up to 85 percent—do not receive this lifesaving therapy.

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Researchers Identify “Druggable” Signaling Pathway that Stimulates Lung Tissue Repair

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a cellular pathway that can be targeted with a naturally occurring drug to stimulate lung tissue regeneration, which is necessary for recovery from multiple lung injuries. The findings, which were published today in Nature Cell Biology, could lead to better therapies for patients with lung disease, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19.

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DNA webs may drive lung pathology in severe COVID-19

Sticky webs of DNA released from immune cells known as neutrophils may cause much of the tissue damage associated with severe COVID-19 infections, according to two new studies published September 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM). The research, conducted by independent groups in Belgium and Brazil, suggests that blocking the release of these DNA webs could be a new therapeutic target for the management of severe forms of COVID-19.

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Unconventional T cells in severe COVID-19 patients could predict disease outcome

Researchers in France have discovered that patients suffering from severe COVID-19 show changes in a class of immune cells known as unconventional T cells. The study, published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that monitoring the activity of these cells in the blood of patients could predict the severity and course of the disease.

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