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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 495-501

Comparative, observational study of the use of artesunate injections along with standard-of-care treatment versus only standard-of-care treatment in moderate and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome cases of COVID-19-positive infections

1 Department of General Medicine, MGM Hospitals and Research Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, MGM Hospitals and Research Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Medicine, MGM Hospitals and Research Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Babita A Ghodke
Department of General Medicine, MGM Hospitals and Research Centre, CBD-Belapur, Navi Mumbai 400614, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_173_22

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Introduction: COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus disease belonging to the family Coronaviridae. In late December 2019, this virus emerged from Wuhan, Hubei province, China, and resulted in an outbreak in China and expanded globally. In India, the mortality rate today was 521,691 till the date-time of writing this article. Several therapeutic agents have been evaluated for the treatment of COVID-19. Materials and Methods: This was a hospital-based comparative, observational study of the use of artesunate injections with standard-of-care (SOC) treatment (group A) versus only SOC (group B) treatment in moderate-to-severe cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients, on a total of 130 patients (comparative group of 65 patients each). The study was done on hospitalized COVID-19-positive moderate and severe cases of ARDS from October 2020 to June 2021 at MGM Hospital and Research Centre, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Results: One hundred and thirty patients were divided into two groups of 65 each; group A was compared with group B; group A received SOC with artesunate injections and group B received only SOC treatment. The mean age of patients in group A was 57.3 ± 12.5 years (standard deviation [SD]: 54.2–60.3) and in group B was 55.8 ± 12.5 years (SD: 52.8–58.9). Diabetes mellitus was the most comorbid condition. The inflammatory markers, respiratory rate, and SpO2 improved in group A as compared to group B. The proportion of patients progressing to noninvasive and invasive ventilation was more in group B as compared to group A (P < 0.05). About 93.8% of patients (61 patients) recovered in group A compared with 72.3% of patients (47 patients) who recovered in group B. The overall death in group A was 6.2% (four patients) and 27.7% (18 patients) in group B (P < 0.05), indicating the proportion of dead patients is significantly more where only SOC treatment was given. Conclusions: Artesunate injection administration accelerated recovery in our patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 disease by controlling hyperimmune response. The clinical improvement was seen by decreased levels of inflammatory markers, reduced respiratory rate, and improved oxygen saturation and showed significant survival in group A compared with group B. Artesunate injections were given 2 mg/kg body weight diluted in 1 mL 5% sodium bicarbonate solution as a bolus followed by 1 mg/kg body weight after 6 h and 2 mg/kg body weight with 1 mL sodium bicarbonate solution for next 2 days at an interval of 24 h. Patients tolerated the injections well and recovery improved, so artesunate can be considered a therapeutic option in moderate and severe cases of COVID-19 ARDS.

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