On Monday, an Ohio court refused a preliminary injunction that would have required a hospital to continue providing Ivermectin, a parasite treatment often used in livestock, to a man in an intensive care unit with COVID-19.
"Judges are neither doctors nor nurses," Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster wrote in his judgment, which came two weeks after another judge authorized West Chester Hospital to provide Ivermectin to Jeffrey Smith, 51, temporarily.
Smith, a father of three, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 9, according to court papers. He was sent to West Chester Hospital's intensive care unit six days later, where he remained Monday. Since August 1, he has been on a ventilator.
Wife prompts Ohio hospital to administer Ivermectin to her husband
Last week, Oster heard two days of testimony in the case of Smith's wife, Julie Smith, who filed a lawsuit on August 20 to force West Chester Hospital to provide Ivermectin as recommended by Smith's physician, Dr. Fred Wagshul. According to McClatchy News, the doctor recommended a 30 mg dosage of Ivermectin once a day for three weeks.
Julie Smith took the hospital to court when the physicians refused; and after a months-long struggle, a separate Ohio judge ruled that he receive the medication. That order was for 21 days. According to the complaint, Jeffery, a father of three, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 9 and was sent to the ICU less than a week later as his condition rapidly deteriorated.
He may or may not have been immunized against COVID-19. The medical personnel treated Jeffery with Remdesivir, plasma, and steroids, which brought him to a period of relative stability. When Jeffery's condition began to deteriorate again on August 20, he was placed in a medically induced coma, Daily Mail reported.
Julie contacted Dr. Wagshul, who recommended the untested medicine to Jeffery without seeing him. The patient's wife then asked for Ivermectin to be given to her sick husband; but his physicians refused, claiming that it would conflict with the drugs he was already taking, according to the complaint.
Health organizations refrain from using Ivermectin as COVID-19 medicine
The physicians stated that there was nothing further that could be done. Julie claims she offered to sign a waiver releasing the hospital and its doctors from any liability arising from the requested treatment, which the hospital denies in its court filing.
There is minimal evidence that Ivermectin is useful in the treatment of COVID-19, according to federal agencies and medical organizations. However, as right-wing media promoted it as a COVID-19 therapy, prescriptions - and associated calls to poison control centers - surged in 2021.
In humans, Ivermectin is used to treat parasitic infections like lice and worms that cause river blindness. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized it for use in animals for comparison purposes, including as a livestock dewormer and heartworm prevention for dogs and cats.
However, until more clinical trials are completed, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Medical Association have all warned against the use of Ivermectin as a COVID-19 therapy. Per NPR, most previous studies on the drug's potential to combat COVID-19 had insufficient information and severe methodological flaws, according to the National Institutes of Health, which has not made an official recommendation.