March 7, 2021

Background: Early observational studies led to the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) in the US in August 2020 for the treatment of COVID-19. Data from the RECOVERY trial, the largest clinical trial on COVID-19 treatments was halted early and was communicated as a press release [2] in January 2021.  The preliminary report was based on data from ≈10,000 patients and indicated no significant association of benefit with CPT in reducing all-cause mortality compared with standard of care. Due to this press release the authors of this paper decided to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the current literature on the topic.

February 27, 2021

Background: As the COVID pandemic rages on, we continue to search for treatments to help combat the disease. Severely ill patients commonly have low levels of vitamin D and it has been suggested that optimal levels of Hydroxyvitamin D may have some immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties which could benefit patients.  Vitamin D supplementation is cheap and has relatively minimal side effects making it an intriguing treatment modality. However, the data is limited.

February 19, 2021

Update: This article was removed from the Lancet server on February 19th, 2021 (Link)

Background: Vitamin D deficiency is common amongst critically ill patients and there has been ample speculation about a possible role for supplementation (with calcifediol) in the treatment of patients with COVID19. Calcifediol is cheap, readily available and, has minimal side effects making it an ideal therapeutic - if it works. To date, there is limited high-quality evidence on efficacy.

February 13, 2021

Background: Science by press release. Not the way any of us would choose to operate but, the COVID pandemic has made this a reality. It’s vital that we understand that while pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to release this information, we as clinicians should not be practicing medicine based on press releases. Of course, these press releases don’t only originate from pharma. On January 22nd, 2021, the Montreal Heart Institute released a statement about the results from the COLCORONA study investigating the use of colchicine in COVID-19. The press release painted a very positive picture but, does the pre-peer reviewed publication stand up?