By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As shops and restaurants accept customers, the medical community is still finding ways to try to save lives.

As coronavirus cases continue to climb, there are still patients who are really sick and need a ventilator to survive.

University of Miami Hospital is the sole hospital in the nation that’s trying a new effort to get people off of a ventilator faster.

“RLF-100” is only being given to patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

“We want to save them before we go to the others. We believe, that’s the group that needs to use this so you can hopefully make a difference,” UM Infectious Diseases Professor Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera said. “This is specifically for people on ventilators.”

The medicine is a synthetic version of a molecule that’s found in our gut. UM doctors are using it to block flare ups in the lungs. It’s given to patients through an IV.

The goal is to get them breathing on their own since complications, like a failure of other organs, can increase the longer someone is on a ventilator.

RLF-100 has not been FDA approved since it’s still being studied. Because it’s a new test, there are some concerns but doctors believe they can be managed.

“Two side effects that we are concerned about are the drop in blood pressure and diarrhea,” the doctor said. “We want people to understand that this is a study. It may work. It may not work. But at the end of the day, we will answer the questions.”

There’s a possibility it could be used at Jackson Memorial Hospital and even expanded to hospitals in other states.

People who are really sick at UM Hospital are still being given FDA approved remdesivir. There are also other trials happening like those involving stem cells.

Ty Russell

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