Making the Best of a Bad Situation
Submitted by Dr. Michael P Murphy, PHD, and Brian Ragain, RN
Due to COVID-19, the CMMRF research at the Indiana University and the VA hospital was restricted and our abilities to expand to new projects and order lab mice. Clinical research in limb ischemia (reduced blood flow in arms and legs) and aortic aneurysm (weakening of the largest artery in the body) was temporarily suspended, as they could not risk exposing these patients to COVID-19 during these elective medical trials.
However, Dr. Michael Murphy did what he does best and redirected his research. Using the stem cells that were already prepared for the aneurysm trials, he created a new study and treated COVID-19 patients that were having breathing issues. Seven patients with varying degrees of breathing complications were chosen for this potentially life saving study. Significant evidence was obtained from this study, even to the point that the National Director of VA Research has invited Dr. Murphy to submit a large grant for a multi-institutional study! This team really can find a light at the end of every tunnel.
Fortunately, the team seems to have avoided contacting COVID-19, despite being in such close proximity to the virus and the patients being treated. Dr. Murphy even said, ‘I cannot express how impressed I am with the nurses working on these units and how they truly put their lives on the line.’