COVID-19 patient attempted to smuggle pest control drug ivermectin into Windsor Regional Hospital by hiding it in a stuffed animal, according to an internal memo sent to Ontario hospital staff on Friday .
David Musyj, general manager of the hospital, wrote that the adult patient brought the stuffed animal to the intensive care unit.
“As the staff member collected the patient’s belongings, the staff noticed a slit in the stuffed animal. Inside was ivermectin,” Musyj wrote in the note obtained by CBC News.
A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed the note was genuine and said the hospital would not comment further on the matter.
Ivermectin has been promoted by conservative commentators, particularly in the United States, as a treatment for COVID-19 despite the lack of conclusive evidence that it helps people with the virus.
Dr Gerald Young, an infectious disease specialist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Said early studies indicated it was a possible treatment for COVID-19.
“It was based on the fact that in a test tube it seemed to have some activity,” Young told CBC News Friday. “But what we have discovered since then is that a lot of these observations, many trials, were very poorly done. In fact, some of them were retracted as false and therefore were removed from. published literature.
“When you look at a scan of all of the remaining things that are there, there is absolutely no indication that ivermectin is an effective treatment for COVID, which would prevent you from entering the hospital or dying from COVID. It just doesn’t work. “
The toy dog that contained ivermectin, according to the Windsor Regional Hospital memo to staff. (Windsor Regional Hospital)
Young said no doctor he knew would prescribe ivermectin to someone with COVID-19.
“What people do then is they buy the formulation that is used in animals,” he said. “These are dose adjusted for large animals like horses or cows.
“If you take this, there is a good chance that you will experience a very serious side effect from the medication. You might even find yourself… poisoning yourself.”
COVID-19 drug use warnings issued
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization said the evidence for the use of ivermectin to treat patients with COVID-19 was “inconclusive” and should only be reserved for trials clinical until more data becomes available.
Health Canada had advised people not to take ivermectin as a drug to treat COVID-19, warning “that there is no evidence that ivermectin in either [the human or veterinary] the formulation is safe or effective when used for these purposes.
The Canadian Pharmacists Association has also issued warnings that the drug could make people sicker.
“Using this drug for COVID really puts people who are already in a difficult situation even worse,” the association’s Barry Power said in fall 2021.
“I really urge people to think twice before trying to access this drug which has been shown to do nothing with COVID. “
In September, Dr Wassim Saad, chief of staff at Windsor Regional Hospital, warned against using the drug as a COVID-19 treatment.
“For a healthcare professional it’s a little frustrating,” Saad said at the time. “If you have a medical problem, why are you going on the Internet? Why are you going to go to unproven, untested sources instead of going to regulated medical professionals who can actually give you the real answer? “
“Be aware of patients’ personal belongings”
In the note, Musyj praised the staff member for finding the drug hidden inside the stuffed animal and urged employees to keep an eye out for suspicious items.
“Moving forward, be patient, personal belongings aware with COVID-19,” Musyj wrote.
“I know we are sometimes concerned about bringing illicit drugs into the hospital, but now we need to be aware of what is going on with COVID-19 [positive] the patients.”
Young said it was the first time he had heard of an incident similar to the Windsor hospital, but that he would not be surprised if more happened.
“When you are really stressed and anxious and worried you find yourself trying to come up with simple solutions,” he said. “Ivermectin captured, I guess, the imaginations of many people who were looking for something that would be a simple fix.
“And that also falls a bit into the gamut that somehow… medicine was trying to hide it as a cure. So when that happens you become very firmly entrenched in that kind of belief system. . “
Young also advised people not to trust everything they read on social media when it comes to the pandemic.
“It is better to really try to address people who have the right knowledge and who are going to give you objective information, and not to try to take advantage of them in one way or another”, a- he declared. “This is one of the dangers we have seen throughout the pandemic.”