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1.
Int J Drug Policy ; 106: 103768, 2022 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1894970

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency contingency guidelines for opioid agonist treatment (OAT) were introduced in Ireland in March 2020, to ensure rapid and uninterrupted access to treatment while mitigating COVID-19 risk. The contingency guidelines deviated, across multiple clinical domains, from pre-pandemic clinical guidelines published in 2016. The objectives of this study are to (1) identify changes introduced to OAT clinical guidelines in Ireland during the pandemic; and (2) develop consensus on whether the new recommendations should be retained beyond the pandemic, using a national Delphi consensus methodology. METHODS: Clinical guidance recommendations ('statements') were generated by comparing the newly established contingency guidelines with the national 2016 Clinical Guidelines for OAT. Over two rounds of on-line Delphi testing, a panel of experts (people currently accessing OAT, psychiatrists, general practitioners, community pharmacists, a nurse, a psychologist and support/key workers) independently rated their agreement with each statement and provided comments. Statements with a median score of 4 or 5 and a lower quartile of ≥4 were classified as having reached consensus. RESULTS: Forty-eight panel members were recruited, with a high participation level at Round 2 (90%, n=43). Consensus was achieved for 12 of the 19 statements at Round 1. The 7 remaining statements were revised, with 2 new statements, resulting in 9 statements at Round 2. Four statements reached consensus at Round 2. The final list includes 16 clinical guidance statements; 9 relating to assessment, 3 to OAT drug choice and dosing, 1 to take-away doses, 2 to overdose prevention and 1 to the continuation of e-prescriptions. CONCLUSIONS: A wide range of stakeholders involved in the delivery and receipt of OAT agreed on 16 clinical guidance statements for inclusion in OAT clinical guidelines as we move beyond the pandemic, rather than reverting to pre-pandemic guidelines. The agreed statements relate to facilitating safe access to OAT with minimal waiting time, supporting patient-centred care to promote health and well-being, and preventing drug overdose. Notably, consensus was not achieved for OAT drug dosage and frequency of urine testing during the stabilisation and maintenance phase of care.

2.
Med (N Y) ; 3(4): 233-248.e6, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882364

ABSTRACT

Background: Patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) develop a febrile pro-inflammatory cytokinemia with accelerated progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Here we report the results of a phase 2, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous (IV) plasma-purified alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) for moderate to severe ARDS secondary to COVID-19 (EudraCT 2020-001391-15). Methods: Patients (n = 36) were randomized to receive weekly placebo, weekly AAT (Prolastin, Grifols, S.A.; 120 mg/kg), or AAT once followed by weekly placebo. The primary endpoint was the change in plasma interleukin (IL)-6 concentration at 1 week. In addition to assessing safety and tolerability, changes in plasma levels of IL-1ß, IL-8, IL-10, and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNFR1) and clinical outcomes were assessed as secondary endpoints. Findings: Treatment with IV AAT resulted in decreased inflammation and was safe and well tolerated. The study met its primary endpoint, with decreased circulating IL-6 concentrations at 1 week in the treatment group. This was in contrast to the placebo group, where IL-6 was increased. Similarly, plasma sTNFR1 was substantially decreased in the treatment group while remaining unchanged in patients receiving placebo. IV AAT did not definitively reduce levels of IL-1ß, IL-8, and IL-10. No difference in mortality or ventilator-free days was observed between groups, although a trend toward decreased time on ventilator was observed in AAT-treated patients. Conclusions: In patients with COVID-19 and moderate to severe ARDS, treatment with IV AAT was safe, feasible, and biochemically efficacious. The data support progression to a phase 3 trial and prompt further investigation of AAT as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic. Funding: ECSA-2020-009; Elaine Galwey Research Bursary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Interleukin-10/therapeutic use , Interleukin-6/therapeutic use , Interleukin-8/therapeutic use , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/therapeutic use , alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency/drug therapy
3.
BMJ Paediatrics Open ; 6(1), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1736076

ABSTRACT

ObjectiveThe COVID-19 pandemic caused long periods of lockdown, social isolation and intense challenges for parents. This study examines parenting in an infant cohort born at the pandemic onset.MethodsThe CORAL study is a prospective longitudinal observational study looking at allergy, immune function and neurodevelopmental outcome in babies born between March and May 2020. Demographic information was collected, babies were reviewed at 6-monthly intervals, and serology for COVID-19 infection was recorded. When babies were 12 months old, parents were asked for 3–5 words to describe raising a baby during the pandemic. Frequency of word usage was compared between first time parents and parents with other children, and parents of babies with and without a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.Results354 babies were recruited to CORAL study. Social circles were small. At 6 months the median number of people (including parents) who had kissed the baby was 3, and by 12 months one-quarter of babies had never met another child of similar age. 304 parents completed the word choice. Commonly reported words were lonely (44.4%), isolating (31.9%) and strong bond (15.8%). 12 of those 304 babies had COVID-19 in their first year of life and there was no significant difference in reported negative or positive word number compared with parents of babies without a COVID-19 infection, or by first time parents or those who already had children.ConclusionThe lockdowns and social restrictions made raising an infant challenging for all parents in Ireland. It is important parents know this was a shared experience.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308836

ABSTRACT

Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is the most effective treatment for opioid dependence, although it relies heavily on regular face-to-face healthcare delivery. Following the emergence of COVID-19, policies were rapidly changed in Ireland to reduce the risk of contracting the virus for both clients and treatment providers. From March 2020, the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Social Inclusion Office introduced a series of national contingency guidelines, to ensure fast and uninterrupted access to OAT while balancing efforts to mitigate COVID-19 risks. The Programme for Government 2020 states they will retain many of the measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce waiting times in accessing treatment services and reduce overdose mortality. It is therefore essential to examine the impacts, benefits and unintended consequences of the special measures introduced during COVID-19 at a national level, thus informing which measures can and should be sustained throughout and beyond COVID-19 to support effective, safe and patient-centered care promoting the health and wellbeing of all people with opioid dependence. The aim of this project is to identify priorities for quality improvements which will inform clinical decision making throughout and beyond the pandemic. This will be achieved through a Delphi consensus study. Quality indicators will be identified by comparing the national contingency guidelines with the national 2016 Clinical Guidelines. The project steering group will review the proposed indicators, and the agreed quality indicators will be integrated into an on-line Delphi questionnaire. One hundred participants will be invited to form the Delphi consensus panel and will include a wide range of stakeholders, including people accessing OAT services, general practitioners, pharmacists and outreach workers. Evidence generated from this study will inform national policy decisions in relation to improving quality of care in OAT.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308835

ABSTRACT

While opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is the most effective treatment for opioid dependence, it is heavily dependent on regular face-to-face healthcare delivery placing both clients and treatment providers at risk of COVID-19. Following the emergence of COVID-19, policies were rapidly changed in Ireland, with the introduction of national contingency guidelines by the HSE National Social Inclusion Office, beginning in March 2020 to ensure rapid and uninterrupted access to OAT while balancing efforts to mitigate COVID-19 risk. This study aims to assess the impact of the national contingency guidelines, on the quality of OAT care delivered in Ireland. An interrupted time series analysis will be conducted using anonymised aggregated level data obtained from the Central Treatment List (CTL), the national register of people receiving OAT, administered by the National Drug Treatment Centre Board on behalf of the HSE. Separate segmented regressions will be conducted to estimate the impact of the national contingency guidelines on the following outcomes: (1) number of patients in treatment;(2) number of patients starting OAT;(3) average waiting time for treatment;(4) number of people on waiting list;(5) number of patients dropping out of treatment.  The study period will be divided into pre-(March 2019 to February 2020) and post- intervention (April 2020 to March 2021) segments. Immediate (change in level) and longer-term impacts (change in slope) of changes to provision of OAT in each of the outcomes will be investigated. Regression coefficients (β) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) will be reported.

6.
Trials ; 22(1): 288, 2021 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388815

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective is to demonstrate that, in patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 resulting in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), administration of 120mg/kg of body weight of intravenous Prolastin®(plasma-purified alpha-1 antitrypsin) reduces circulating plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Secondary objectives are to determine the effects of intravenous Prolastin® on important clinical outcomes including the incidence of adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs). TRIAL DESIGN: Phase 2, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot trial. PARTICIPANTS: The study will be conducted in Intensive Care Units in hospitals across Ireland. Patients with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2-infection, moderate to severe ARDS (meeting Berlin criteria for a diagnosis of ARDS with a PaO2/FiO2 ratio <200 mmHg), >18 years of age and requiring invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation. All individuals meeting any of the following exclusion criteria at baseline or during screening will be excluded from study participation: more than 96 hours has elapsed from onset of ARDS; age < 18 years; known to be pregnant or breastfeeding; participation in a clinical trial of an investigational medicinal product (other than antibiotics or antivirals) within 30 days; major trauma in the prior 5 days; presence of any active malignancy (other than nonmelanoma skin cancer) which required treatment within the last year; WHO Class III or IV pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary embolism prior to hospital admission within past 3 months; currently receiving extracorporeal life support (ECLS); chronic kidney disease receiving dialysis; severe chronic liver disease with Child-Pugh score > 12; DNAR (Do Not Attempt Resuscitation) order in place; treatment withdrawal imminent within 24 hours; Prisoners; non-English speaking patients or those who do not adequately understand verbal or written information unless an interpreter is available; IgA deficiency. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Intervention: Either a once weekly intravenous infusion of Prolastin® at 120mg/kg of body weight for 4 weeks or a single dose of Prolastin® at 120mg/kg of body weight intravenously followed by once weekly intravenous infusion of an equal volume of 0.9% sodium chloride for a further 3 weeks. Comparator (placebo): An equal volume of 0.9% sodium chloride intravenously once per week for four weeks. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary effectiveness outcome measure is the change in plasma concentration of IL-6 at 7 days as measured by ELISA. Secondary outcomes include: safety and tolerability of Prolastin® in the respective groups (as defined by the number of SAEs and AEs); PaO2/FiO2 ratio; respiratory compliance; sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score; mortality; time on ventilator in days; plasma concentration of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) as measured by nephelometry; plasma concentrations of interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-10 (IL-10), soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1, a surrogate marker for TNF-α) as measured by ELISA; development of shock; acute kidney injury; need for renal replacement therapy; clinical relapse, as defined by the need for readmission to the ICU or a marked decline in PaO2/FiO2 or development of shock or mortality following a period of sustained clinical improvement; secondary bacterial pneumonia as defined by the combination of radiographic findings and sputum/airway secretion microscopy and culture. RANDOMISATION: Following informed consent/assent patients will be randomised. The randomisation lists will be prepared by the study statistician and given to the unblinded trial personnel. However, the statistician will not be exposed to how the planned treatment will be allocated to the treatment codes. Randomisation will be conducted in a 1:1:1 ratio, stratified by site and age. BLINDING (MASKING): The investigator, treating physician, other members of the site research team and patients will be blinded to treatment allocation. The clinical trial pharmacy personnel and research nurses will be unblinded to facilitate intervention and placebo preparation. The unblinded individuals will keep the treatment information confidential. The infusion bag will be masked at the time of preparation and will be administered via a masked infusion set to maintain blinding. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total of 36 patients will be recruited and randomised in a 1:1:1 ratio to each of the trial arms. TRIAL STATUS: In March 2020, version 1.0 of the trial protocol was submitted to the local research ethics committee (REC), Health Research Consent Declaration Committee (HRCDC) and the Health Products regulatory Authority (HPRA). REC approval was granted on April 1st 2020, HPRA approval was granted on April 24th 2020 and the HRCDC provided a conditional declaration on April 17th 2020. In July 2020 a substantial amendment (version 2.0) was submitted to the REC, HRCDC and HPRA. Protocol changes in this amendment included: the addition of trial sites; extending the duration of the trial to 12 months from 3 months; removal of inclusion criteria requiring the need for vasopressors; amendment of randomisation schedule to stratify by age only and not BMI and sex; correction of grammatical error in relation to infusion duration; to allow for inclusion of subjects who may have been enrolled in a clinical trial involving either antibiotics or anti-virals in the past 30 days; to allow for inclusion of subjects who may be currently enrolled in a clinical trial involving either antibiotics or anti-virals; to remove the need for exclusion based on alpha-1 antitrypsin phenotype; removal of mandatory isoelectric focusing of plasma to confirm Pi*MM status at screening; removal of need for mandatory echocardiogram at screening; amendment on procedures around plasma analysis to reflect that this will be conducted at the central site laboratory (as trial is multi-site and no longer single site); wording amended to reflect that interim analysis of cytokine levels taken at 7 days may be conducted. HRCDC approved version 2.0 on September 14th 2020, and HPRA approved on October 22nd 2020. REC approved the substantial amendment on November 23rd. In November 2020, version 3.0 of the trial protocol was submitted to the REC and HPRA. The rationale for this amendment was to allow for patients with moderate to severe ARDS from SARS-CoV-2 with non-invasive ventilation. HPRA approved this amendment on December 1st 2020 and the REC approved the amendment on December 8th 2020. Patient recruitment commenced in April 2020 and the last patient will be recruited to the trial in April 2021. The last visit of the last patient is anticipated to occur in April 2021. At time of writing, patient recruitment is now complete, however follow-up patient visits and data collection are ongoing. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT 2020-001391-15 (Registered 31 Mar 2020). FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol (version 3.0 23.11.2020) is attached as an additional file accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/therapeutic use , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Ireland , Pilot Projects , Plasma , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/chemically induced , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/administration & dosage
7.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 202(6): 812-821, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614625

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a global threat to health. Its inflammatory characteristics are incompletely understood.Objectives: To define the cytokine profile of COVID-19 and to identify evidence of immunometabolic alterations in those with severe illness.Methods: Levels of IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and sTNFR1 (soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1) were assessed in plasma from healthy volunteers, hospitalized but stable patients with COVID-19 (COVIDstable patients), patients with COVID-19 requiring ICU admission (COVIDICU patients), and patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia requiring ICU support (CAPICU patients). Immunometabolic markers were measured in circulating neutrophils from patients with severe COVID-19. The acute phase response of AAT (alpha-1 antitrypsin) to COVID-19 was also evaluated.Measurements and Main Results: IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and sTNFR1 were all increased in patients with COVID-19. COVIDICU patients could be clearly differentiated from COVIDstable patients, and demonstrated higher levels of IL-1ß, IL-6, and sTNFR1 but lower IL-10 than CAPICU patients. COVID-19 neutrophils displayed altered immunometabolism, with increased cytosolic PKM2 (pyruvate kinase M2), phosphorylated PKM2, HIF-1α (hypoxia-inducible factor-1α), and lactate. The production and sialylation of AAT increased in COVID-19, but this antiinflammatory response was overwhelmed in severe illness, with the IL-6:AAT ratio markedly higher in patients requiring ICU admission (P < 0.0001). In critically unwell patients with COVID-19, increases in IL-6:AAT predicted prolonged ICU stay and mortality, whereas improvement in IL-6:AAT was associated with clinical resolution (P < 0.0001).Conclusions: The COVID-19 cytokinemia is distinct from that of other types of pneumonia, leading to organ failure and ICU need. Neutrophils undergo immunometabolic reprogramming in severe COVID-19 illness. Cytokine ratios may predict outcomes in this population.


Subject(s)
Acute-Phase Reaction/immunology , Carrier Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cytokines/immunology , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/metabolism , Lactic Acid/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Thyroid Hormones/metabolism , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/immunology , Acute-Phase Reaction/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Blotting, Western , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Community-Acquired Infections/immunology , Community-Acquired Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Critical Illness , Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Interleukin-10/immunology , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Interleukin-8/immunology , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Pandemics , Phosphorylation , Pneumonia/immunology , Pneumonia/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/metabolism
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