NORFOLK, Va. – A Norfolk doctor filed a lawsuit against Sentara Norfolk General Hospital this week.
This is the latest update in the News 3 survey: “A Norfolk doctor leading a charge for controversial treatment of COVID-19.”
In this lawsuit, Dr. Paul Marik, the director of the hospital’s critical care unit, says Sentara’s ban on its use to treat patients with ivermectin is deadly and illegal.
“I think it’s criminal. It’s immoral, and it’s illegal,” Marik said. “Can you understand the number that this requires that I have young patients – young patients in their 30s and 40s who I had to watch die – while the hospital prevented me from giving them the treatment I needed? thought it was to their best advantage? “
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug, widely used to treat worms in horses and cows, which has been at the center of controversy over COVID-19 care.
In the 80-page document, Marik said Sentara published a directive to doctors last month banning the use of inclusion of ivermectin to treat patients with COVID-19 unless they were part of a clinical trial.
“It was a note sent through the health care system that was actually directed personally at me to prevent me from prescribing these medications that I, as the treating physician, wanted to use,” he said.
He also made a claim in the lawsuit that said Sentara’s policy may have caused the deaths of four of his patients who were never given the opportunity to learn about or be treated with potentially life-saving medications.
“It’s the doctor who determines what is the best treatment for the patient, not unnamed bureaucrats sitting in an office,” Marik said. “I had to stand idly by [my patients] to die because I was not allowed to do what I intended to do. “
While News 3 has not been able to confirm those claims, the FDA, CDC, and U.S. General Surgeon warn against the use of ivermectin for patients with COVID. They said there is not enough data to support how it works against the virus.
Dr. David Boulware is an infectious disease expert leading a major study on ivermectin funded by the National Institutes of Health. He said, “If ivermectin is very effective, then everyone should use it. And at the same time if it really proves ineffective, and doesn’t have any benefit, people shouldn’t use it and they really should move on to. Something else.”
Marik’s use of ivermectin was the subject of News 3 anchor Jessica Larché’s investigation in September. On Thursday, he told News 3 reporter Erin Miller that he had never prescribed ivermectin to Sentara or non-Sentara patients.
Marik and his international group of physicians show a list of smaller studies that suggest the drug is safe and effective in treating COVID-19.
Other doctors say more data is needed for larger clinical trials.
There are some big tests now, but early data showed no promise for ivermectin.
Here is a list of local hospitals and their attitude towards treating COVID patients with ivermectin:
- Riverside Regional – Allowed
- Patient First – Allowed
- Bob Secours – Suggest not to use
- CHKD – Not allowed
- Sentara – Not allowed
- Chesapeake Regional declined to comment.
Sentara Healthcare sent a statement to News 3 on Thursday about the lawsuit:
Sentara Healthcare is consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the nation for quality and patient safety, and follows evidence-based protocols to treat COVID-19 as recommended by trusted agencies including the CDC, NIH and FDA. All of these agencies currently have does not recommend the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 due to a lack of evidence regarding its safety and efficacy.Sentara generates treatment guidelines involving multidisciplinary groups of clinicians to review literature, care standards, and provide expert advice.In most situations, physicians may deviate from guidelines to individualize care for patients.However, in some scenarios, treatments that may be harmful to patients or that are widely considered to be outside the standard of care may be limited.
To this end, COVID-19 treatment guidelines at Sentara were constantly communicated to all medical employees during the pandemic using usual channels. The most recent guidelines generated by the multidisciplinary group of clinicians included, but were not limited to, guidance on the use of ivermectin. All members of the medical staff receive the same guidelines.
Notably, on Tuesday, November 9, before we were informed of Dr. Marik’s trial, the editorial board of the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine (JICM) revoked a recent article that Dr. Marik co-authored on the protocol. MATH +, in which ivermectin is used. Sentara Healthcare felt compelled to contact JICM with our concerns about the data from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, which the authors used to make conclusions and provide accurate data to the Journal. After a thorough review by the JICM editorial staff, the article was withdrawn. The Journal followed their revocation guidelines and procedures.
Sentara Healthcare is currently studying this process and does not offer any further comment on it at this time. “
Click here for more News 3 Investigations.