National / Science & Health

New York and Fukushima hospitals share coronavirus treatment guidelines

Jiji

Guidelines for treating novel coronavirus patients drawn up by doctors at a medical school and hospital in New York have been used to treat patients at a university hospital in Fukushima Prefecture.

The guidelines were sent by Dr. Takahiro Yanagisawa, professor of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, to Fukushima Medical University.

After the number of coronavirus patients increased explosively from March, medical staff at Mount Sinai drew up guidelines detailing treatment options based on their experiences in treating more than 10,000 patients.

They also created a manual for anti-thrombotic therapy, including how to isolate people who tested positive for the virus and an algorithm used to help provide guidance on prescribing dosages of anti-clotting agents. The manual has been sent to Fukushima Medical University and others.

The New York and Fukushima school hospitals have maintained close ties and exchanges since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami after having jointly worked together to provide assistance to those affected by the disaster.

Yanagisawa, 52, also head of the Japanese Medical Society of America, has supported medical assistance efforts in disaster areas since the immediate aftermath of the March 2011 disaster.

Promoting comprehensive disaster medical care that integrates psychological and physical care, he has supported disaster victims in Japan as well as families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Yanagisawa has also been involved in student exchange programs between the New York and Fukushima schools.

Treatment manuals have been prepared for many diseases, but medical workers around the world have taken a trial-and-error approach to address the novel coronavirus.

Fukushima Medical University has translated the guidelines and manual into Japanese to share information among its workers.

Shunichi Yamashita, head of the university’s international exchange center, said, “There is a wide gap between the numbers of patients in New York and Japan and individual responses are also different, but they (the treatment guidelines and manual) were very useful in setting up a mechanism for accepting patients with severe symptoms.”

“Dr. Yanagisawa has offered a helping hand to Fukushima since immediately after the disaster,” Yamashita said. “We are very grateful as his consistent support for disaster victims has led to the sharing of treatment guidelines for coronavirus patients.”

Your news needs your support

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.

Coronavirus banner