Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 172-173
Proctoring hydroxychloroquine consumption for health-care workers in india as per the revised national guidelines


1 Department of Medicine, IGMC, Shimla, India
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA
3 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. RPGMC Kangra, Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, India
4 Department of Emergency Medicine, KMC, Manipal, Karnataka, India

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Date of Submission09-May-2020
Date of Decision30-May-2020
Date of Acceptance30-May-2020
Date of Web Publication10-Jun-2020
 

How to cite this article:
Chauhan V, Galwankar S, Raina S, Krishnan V. Proctoring hydroxychloroquine consumption for health-care workers in india as per the revised national guidelines. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2020;13:172-3

How to cite this URL:
Chauhan V, Galwankar S, Raina S, Krishnan V. Proctoring hydroxychloroquine consumption for health-care workers in india as per the revised national guidelines. J Emerg Trauma Shock [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 14];13:172-3. Available from: http://www.onlinejets.org/text.asp?2020/13/2/172/286238




Sir,

The Indian Council of Medical Research issued recommendations on empiric use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for prophylaxis of COVID-19 infection on March 22, 2020.[1] The advisory included asymptomatic health-care workers involved in care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. The stock available with the chemists soon vanished as hospitals and health-care workers lifted the available stocks from the chemist shops and by March 25, and there were reports that patients suffering from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis were not able to procure these medicines from retail chemist shops.[2] We conducted an online questionnaire-based survey of doctors and nurses from all over India on the use of HCQ for prophylaxis, which was voluntarily completed by 125 participants from 16 States of India. The results of survey are given in [Table 1].
Table 1: Results of hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis survey of Indian doctors and nurses

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Most notable information from the survey was that despite clear instructions in the advisory, less than half of the participants took HCQ after a prescription. Less than 1/3rd got an electrocardiogram (ECG) before taking HCQ despite being knowledgeable of the fact that HCQ can cause QT prolongation. Gastrointestinal upset was reported by 14% though there were no serious side effects reported. 1/4th of the participants took a different dose of HCQ than mentioned in the advisory. 1/4th of the respondents took HCQ prophylaxis purely on the advice of a senior colleague without themselves going through the advisory. Therefore, the ICMR guidelines were not followed by the doctors and nurses in India properly and an initial panic might have led to a large number of doctors and nurses self-medicate with HCQ without prescription or pre-HCQ ECG. Exact numbers for how many health-care workers followed HCQ prophylaxis even when they were not posted in COVID-19 areas are not known.

ICMR has revised its advisory on 22nd of May in which it has included a new clause for having an ECG done before taking HCQ. It also says that weekly prophylaxis can be continued safely beyond 8 weeks. The revised HCQ prophylaxis guideline has expanded its coverage to include asymptomatic healthcare workers posted in non-Covid areas and also the frontline workers such as surveillance workers deployed in containment zones and paramilitary/police personnel involved in COVID-19 related activities.[3]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Technical Documents and Advisory. Available from: https://www.icmr.gov. in/ctechdocad.html. [Last accessed on 2020 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hydroxychloroquine Out of Stock in Chemist Shops-India News. Available from: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/hydroxy-chloroquine-out-of-st ock-in-chemist-shops-1659486-2020-03-25. [Last accessed on 2020 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Technical Documents & Advisory [Internet]. Available from: https://www.icmr.gov.in/ctechdocad.html. [Last cited on 2020 May 30].  Back to cited text no. 3
    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Vivek Chauhan
Department of Medicine, IGMC, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_75_20

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