Laser Therapy for Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia


An examination of a patient presenting with the condition in the early days of the pandemic without the access to current care protocols.

Scott Sigman, MD, fellow, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, is an orthopedic surgeon who is the first to tell you he did not expect to be on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Yet he became the principal investigator for a case involving a patient with severe COVID-19 who developed pneumonia.

In the early days of the pandemic, hospitals were getting besieged with cases and they were grappling to find treatments. Sigman's background in using laser therapy for othopedic therapy put him in front of this patient. The patient was admitted to the ICU of a hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts for respiratory distress and in need of oxygenation.

The patient was not able to ambulate and rather than put the patient on a ventilator they decided to try photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT). Sigman treated the patient with a once-daily, 28-minute PBMT sessions for 4 days using an FDA approved multiwave locked system therapy laser.

The patient's respiratory indices, radiological findings, oxygen requirements and outcomes improved over several days and without the need for a ventilator.

This case was written up in the American Journal of Case Reports.

Sigman spoke with Contagion® about using the therapy, the patient's outcome, and future studies looking at this for prospective patients who present with a similar diagnosis.

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