A team of Canadian researchers trying to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients with a modified form of dialysis is seeing promising signs that they are able to fend off deadly immune system responses to the novel coronavirus.
“So far, the responses have been very positive – but obviously it’s very early days,” Dr. Chris McIntyre, who leads the team at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ont., told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday.
The researchers are believed to be the first in the world to look at using dialysis machines, which are commonly available in intensive care units (ICUs) to treat patients whose immune system responses to COVID-19 include severe inflammation.
This inflammation is one sign of a phenomenon known as a “cytokine storm.” It is normal for the human body to produce cytokines to fight off infection and then stop once the virus or bacterium has been defeated. During a cytokine storm, though, the immune system does not stop creating cytokines – making so many that they begin to harm the body, leading to potentially deadly outcomes…