Physician Assistant With COVID-19 Speaks Out

Christina Fiore in MedPageToday:

A New Jersey physician assistant who was the state’s first COVID-19 patient is speaking out from his hospital bed, calling his illness “severe” and raising concerns about his treatment. James Cai, a 32-year-old non-smoker with no other health conditions, has been at Hackensack University Medical Center for about a week and says his illness has worsened significantly over that time. “In the beginning, they just treat me like normal flu. They say I’m young, I’m not going to die, but they don’t know the truth about corona[virus],” Cai said during an interview posted to Twitter over the weekend.

…Hackensack University Medical Center confirmed Cai is a patient there, but would not comment further. Gilead, which makes remdesivir, told MedPage Today it couldn’t comment on individual patient cases. During the interview, Cai appeared at times to be struggling to breathe, and Pulte halted the interview at one point to give him time to catch his breath. “For the last one week, it’s been hell,” Cai said during the broadcast. His symptoms have included dyspnea, chest pain, high fever, watery eyes, and diarrhea. A repeat CT scan performed over the weekend showed evidence of disease worsening, he said. At one point, he said his oxygen saturation dipped below 80%.

“I don’t think they really understand what’s going on here,” he said. “My brother at Mount Sinai main campus, he understands. He can advocate for me.”

More here.