July 11th 2020 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Rachel Charney, Dr. Guy Venezia, & Dr. Helen Kornblum

Health Matters
Friday, July 10th
Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. We are seeing an upward trend in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the St. Louis area -- and all across the state of Missouri. Dr. Buckhold says this is very concerning. He fears this may be the new normal until a vaccine is found.  That's why Dr. Buckhold says it is critical we continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and practice good hand hygiene.  Hospitalizations at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital jumped up from 3 last week to 16 at week's end.  Dr. Buckhold treated five COVID patients this past week -- and had a lot of success using Remdesvir, statins and convalescent plasma therapy.  That's very encouraging news, he says.  But he says it is still hard to get all the needed testing.  Can you get COVID-19 again?  Dr. Buckhold says so far the answer appears to be no.  In many cases, he says, the virus lingers in the body and can spark back up again after awhile. 

Dr. RACHEL CHARNEY, SLU Care pediatric emergency medicine physician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Children with COVID-19 are now being enrolled in what's called a promising new trial of the drug Remdesivir.  This is taking place at 30 sites in the United States and Europe -- involving 50 children at each site.  Dr. Charney says they want to see if the drug has a positive impact on treating COVID-19 in kids -- just as it has shown in adults.  All children in the study will receive the drug, no placebos.  In most kids, COVID-19 has no symptoms.  But she says parents should be on the lookout for a persistent fever and the feeling that your child is not recovering well from an illness.  She says in general, most kids are doing very well when they do get COVID-19 -- although there are some rare exceptions.

Dr. GUY VENEZIA, OB-GYN at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton; oversees the clinical program for Women and Children at SSM Health.  Pregnant women with COVID-19 are hospitalized more than non-pregnant women with COVID-19 -- but it's hard to tell if that's for pregnancy reasons or coronavirus concerns.  Slight increased risk in both ICU admissions and ventilator use -- but no increased risk of death. St. Louis region has been pretty stable in hospitalizations for pregnant women.  And no deaths locally in pregnant women with COVID-19.  Dr. Venezia says he does not see a very high rate of transmission from mother to child.  He recommends continuing to breastfeed for new moms -- breast milk and amniotic fluid show little coronavirus impact.  More pregnant moms in minority groups show increased risk. As well as moms with co-morbidities.

Dr. HELEN KORNBLUM, medical director of the Internal Medicine Clinic at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital.  The Internal Medicine Clinic has just been recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.  Dr. Kornblum says her clinic takes a holistic approach to illness -- promoting wellness of the mind, body and spirit.  Lots of team members meet with patients to help with medicine and insurance and education.  She has even developed her own food pantry for healthy foods for patients, many of whom do not have insurance.  Lots of stress management these days -- during the coronavirus pandemic.  How do people get enrolled in this clinic? How big is the need?  What types of illnesses does the clinic treat?