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HERO registry needs health care workers to share their experience in treating COVID-19 patients

Some participants can take part in hydroxychloroquine trial
Posted at 1:59 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 13:59:41-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A national registry is inviting healthcare workers from around the country to share their experiences of treating coronavirus patients and participate in trials that will determine if hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19.

HERO registry stands for Health care Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes. Officials hope the registry develops into a network of over 250,000 professionals, that will help put a face to the stories of workers battling COVID-19.

"I look at my own situation and the poor sleep quality, the poor eating habits and I realize I'm just one individual," said Dr. Aaron Milstone, Pulmonologist at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee. "We have to unite as a health care community to really fully understand what this epidemic has done in terms of not just our physical well-being, but our emotional and mental well-being."

The registry will be filled with accounts like Milstone's, but they don't necessarily need to come from doctors and nurses. They could also come from food service workers, physical therapists, clerks and who all play a role in the medical centers.

"We are really looking at a variety of issues in terms of burn out, in terms of stress and in terms of coping mechanisms. I've never seen a trial of this size and scope put together so quickly," Milstone said.

Once health care workers signed up at the HERO registry's website, they're then asked if they'd like to part in future test trials — which could be as simple giving accounts of daily life in the medical field.

Depending on location, those who join the HERO registry can also choose to take part in a hydroxychloroquine trial — a study of the drug touted by President Donald Trump that has shown promise in treating COVID-19 in very limited testing. The hydroxychloroquine trial is taking place at 40 health care systems around the country.

With thousands expected to participate thanks to the HERO registry Dr. Michael Wright of Williamson Medical Center in Tennessee, medical officials will finally be able to determine if hydroxychloroquine is helpful in treating the coronavirus.

"Health care workers will enroll in the trial. It will be randomized so that they will receive either a placebo or the active ingredient of the hydroxychloroquine. They will take the medication for 30 days and after 30 days, they will be screened to see if they were infected with COVID-19 or not," Wright said.

According to Milstone, as many as 15 to 20 percent of health care workers become infected with COVID-19, putting tremendous pressure on hospitals to maintain quality care.

This story was originally published by Levi Ismail on WTVF in Nashville.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.