Loma Linda University Health

Loma Linda University Health is part of a national collaborative effort to better and quickly understand COVID-19 and how treatments might be developed to help populations most affected.

Physicians at Loma Linda University Medical Center intensive care unit are participating in the Harvard University-led study, one of 68 hospitals that are contributing to the ongoing research that has now been published in two medical journals.

Loma Linda University Health has successfully contributed data on 57 patients treated in the medical intensive care unit of the more than 5,000 patients in the national registry from March 4 to June 30.

Results have been published in JAMA Internal Medicine and British Medical Journal. Two more articles have been accepted for publication, said Bryant Nguyen, MD, MS, John E. Peterson Professor of Medicine, chief of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and Loma Linda University’s primary investigator for the study.

“We are pleased about the opportunity to be involved in this study, so our data can contribute to a better understanding of how to best treat and care for patients who have contracted COVID-19,” Nguyen said. “By coming together, we join forces against this formidable foe.”

Led by Harvard's David Leaf, MD, the principal investigator of the study, researchers have examined predictors of survival on severely sick patients with COVID-19 who have been admitted to an ICU in various hospitals around the country. Factors include a patient’s age, body mass index, gender, liver and kidney function, as well as hospital resources. Researchers are also examining the effectiveness of various treatments in the ICU, including the drug Tocilizumab if administered within two days of admission.

The research is ongoing, Nguyen said, and Loma Linda University Health ICU staff and researchers will continue to participate in the study. As many as a dozen articles will be submitted for publication in journals, he said.