Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Two physicians from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are participating in an Ebola treatment clinical trial now underway in Liberia — one of the West African nations hardest hit by the current Ebola outbreak.
William A. Fischer II, MD and David Wohl, MD, joined by faculty at Duke University, are working in Liberia for the duration of the clinical trial, in which plasma taken from survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) is given to patients who are actively sick in an effort to help them combat this disease.
The trial is being run by ClinicalRM of Hinckley, Ohio, and is being funded through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information about the trial, see this press release from ClinicalRM.
“At a time when there is no specific therapy for Ebola, this trial is truly unique in that it serves to empower survivors of EVD with the ability to fight back through the donation of plasma that could potentially save someone’s life,” said Dr. Fischer, an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Fischer previously treated Ebola patients in Guinea in May and June, as part of a team from Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF).
“As part of the trial, we have been able to enhance a range of lab capabilities within the hospital system allowing for real time electrolyte analysis,” said Dr. Wohl, an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. “Monitoring and responding to electrolyte abnormalities is a huge benefit in the effort to care for and support people battling Ebola and it greatly enhances the healthcare team’s ability to make informed and rapid treatment decisions.”