Doctor who says he gave ivermectin to rural Alberta COVID-19 patients triggers AHS warning

A replacement doctor at a rural Alberta hospital said he treated three COVID-19 patients with ivermectin, triggering a warning from the provincial health authority about the dangers of the controversial drug.

In a video circulating on social media, Vancouver-based Dr Daniel Nagase says he administered ivermectin in September to patients at hospital in Rimbey, Alta.

Nagase says provincial health officials are “withholding life-saving medicine for an entire province.”

Ivermectin is mainly used to rid livestock of parasites. Its use has not been approved in Canada or the United States for the treatment of coronaviruses and no clinical studies have proven whether it can slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 in humans.

“Extremely disappointing”

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has received complaints about Nagase, who worked as a locum doctor at Rimbey Hospital and Care Center, 65 kilometers northwest of Red Deer. AHS says it is spreading misinformation.

“Neither the veterinary nor human versions of ivermectin have been found to be safe or effective for use in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19,” read a statement from the AHS released earlier this week.

Using the veterinary version “can cause potentially serious health concerns if consumed by humans,” AHS said.

“It is extremely disappointing that someone is spreading misinformation about COVID-19 treatment in this way and suggesting that AHS suspend treatment of patients. ”

CBC News repeatedly called Nagase’s office, but was told he would not be accepting interviews from CBC about his use of ivermectin or the allegations made in the video.

AHS said Nagase “is not scheduled to work as a substitute [fill-in] in AHS “and added that due to the complaints a review will be carried out.

In the video posted Monday, Nagase delivers a speech on October 1 at an event in Vancouver marking the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials.

In the video, Nagase said the three COVID-19 patients in Rimbey had “deteriorated overnight” and were being treated with oxygen and steroids.

Nagase said he requested that ivermectin be provided by the Red Deer Hospital Central Pharmacy, but was refused and warned the drug should not be used on COVID-19 patients.

Nagase said he enlisted the help of a “town pharmacist” who had acquired ivermectin for him.

“He couldn’t get it from his usual supply of chemicals because it was a Saturday. He had to get it from a farm supply,” Nagase says in the video. “He went to the Co-op store.

In the video, Nagase claims the drug worked quickly on patients, allowing the three to be discharged from the hospital within a week. Two of the patients, he says, were “almost completely better” within 18 hours.

Nagase says that within hours of receiving ivermectin, an AHS medical director banned his patients from receiving the drug or any of the other drugs he had prescribed for them.

He said he was removed from the hospital and “relieved” of his medical duties the next day.

He says there is “something malicious” about the care of COVID-19 patients in Alberta hospitals.

‘It’s dangerous’

Dr Keith Wolstenholme, orthopedic surgeon at Red Deer Hospital, says Nagase appears to have become “a thug” and has ignored the medical evidence surrounding ivermectin.

Wolstenholme said that the misuse of ivermectin in humans can cause a myriad of dangerous symptoms.

Doctors have vowed to use evidence-based medicine, he said.

“To have a doctor… get ivermectin from alternative sources and then give it to patients, it’s dangerous, potentially dangerous for these patients, and it’s certainly dangerous for the public.”

Wolstenholme said doctors who spread disinformation put the public at risk by undermining trust in trusted medical science.

“We have what was supposed to be a trusted healthcare professional giving really bad advice.”

The BC College of Physicians and Surgeons lists Nagase, graduated from Dalhousie University in 2004, as actively practicing as a family physician in Vancouver.

In a statement to CBC News, the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons said it was aware of Nagase’s allegations but could not release information relating to matters that could be subject to investigation. investigation.

Treats parasites, not viruses

Ivermectin has been used in veterinary medicine for over 30 years. The form used in humans is on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List because it is safe, inexpensive and effective – and has been shown to be life-saving in the treatment of certain diseases caused by parasites.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not by parasites.

The drug has been widely and wrongly touted as a cure for COVID-19, leading to shortages in Canada for those who may need it. Drug quantities were limited since January.

Health Canada recently issued an opinion asking people not to take the drug to treat COVID-19 after reports some people were taking its veterinary form.

Alberta’s poison helpline, AHS Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS), has reported a recent increase in calls from people who have become ill after taking ivermectin.

PADIS Medical Director Dr Mark Yarema was part of the AHS Scientific Advisory Group that looked at ivermectin. The group released a document stressing that the drug is not approved for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

“We now have at least nine months of evidence… and we just haven’t seen any good, conclusive data that suggests this is what makes people better with COVID,” Yarema said.

People who get sick from improper use of ivermectin are usually treated with fluids, anti-nausea medications and pain relievers, Yarema said.

“It would be very similar to treating stomach flu or gastroenteritis,” he said.

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