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COVID-19 News

COVID ECMO patient leaving hospital

Great COVID-19 Saves: How ECMO Helped a Pregnant Patient Meet Her Newborn Son

When a baby is born, one of the first people they meet is their mother. For one newborn earlier this year, this was not the case, for his mother, Takia Morrison, was diagnosed with COVID-19. In the wake of the pandemic, caution and the safety of everyone is crucial, and a team at Duke University Hospital was ready to treat Ms. Morrison.

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COVID-19 nasal swab

Rapid COVID-19 Test Approved for Emergency Use by U.S. Food and Drug Administration

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke Emergency Medicine partnered with Abbott Technologies as one of 19 sites within the United States to evaluate a rapid COVID-19 test that provided results within 15 minutes. On August 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the rapid COVID-19 test for Emergency Use Authorization based on preliminary results of the study. Approximately 50 million tests will be shipped out a month to healthcare facilities beginning in October.

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Intubated patient with ambu bag

Great COVID-19 Saves: Rapid Testing in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit

The emergence of the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus posed a new challenge to caring for trauma patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, trauma surgeons faced a serious dilemma: how do you protect these highly vulnerable patients from the virus while also protecting your colleagues on the front lines? 

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Photo of COVID-19 vaccine vials

Developing a SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine: Adapting HIV Antibodies Research to Fight Against COVID-19

When the SARS-CoV-2 virus began a global pandemic, lives changed and were left in uncertainty. How can people combat a novel virus? Vaccines provide an answer.

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Electron microscopy image of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Duke Researchers Testing Novel Therapeutics for Early and Acute Stages of COVID-19

During the acute stage of COVID-19, the immune system mounts an overwhelming inflammatory response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This influx of proinflammatory proteins, known as the “cytokine storm,” causes damage to lung tissue and results in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

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Dr. Rachel Greenup with a patient

Crisis of Care: Defining and Dismantling Health Disparities

With tens of millions of Americans currently unemployed, a raging global pandemic affecting races disproportionately, and a widespread national acknowledgment of deeply rooted racial inequities, health disparities have transitioned from widely misunderstood to a trending topic in healthcare. 

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Muath Bishawi, MD, MPH
Muath Bishawi, MD, MPH, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Working in a Pandemic: Physician-Scientist Trainees Describe Challenges and Important Lessons Learned

Muath Bishawi, MD, MPH, Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident, shares the challenges he's faced as a surgeon-scientist trainee working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Flexibility in Vaccine Research Using HIV Assays to Research Potential Mutations in SARS-CoV-2

In the wake of a pandemic, the one question that many people have is how to protect themselves from something they cannot physically see. The solution to it is simple to understand, yet complex in its creation—vaccines. Dr. David Montefiori, professor of surgery, is currently reaserching the SARS-CoV-2 virus with the goal of creating an effective COVID-19 vaccine for the public.

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Lindon Pearson
Lindon Pearson enjoys a moment in his backyard
garden. Photo courtesy of Lindon Pearson.

Finding Silver Linings in the Midst of a Pandemic

After COVID-19 forced Lindon Pearson to work from home some days, he found more time to work on his garden, adding several trees – dogwoods, redbuds and magnolias – this spring and filled his front yard with wildflowers. But more importantly, he’s had more time to spend in his garden, enveloped by the green oasis he’s built.

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Aerial shot of Duke hospital
Aerial Shot of the Duke Medical Campus

Transplantation at Duke in the Time of COVID-19

Transplantation remains the last hope for many patients with end-stage organ failure. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a nationwide decrease in transplants and organ donation. A recent study in The Lancet reported that deceased donor organ transplants in the United States have decreased by 51.1%. Many transplant centers have suspended procedures and limited organ donations to minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to immunocompromised transplant patients.

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Engineering Student Works with Team Designing Isolation Chamber for COVID-19 Patients

Max Sondland E’20 was on spring break when he learned of the changes Duke was implementing for the remainder of his final semester at Duke in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—changes that would prevent him from finishing work on his senior design project, a robot built for a large international construction company.

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Educational program coordinators
Rita Chambers, Colleen McDowell, and Danielle

An Inside Look at the COVID-19 Pandemic: Educational Program Coordinators

In the wake of the current pandemic, administrative team members had to quickly shift gears to a virtual work environment to ensure the safety of patients and frontline workers. The shift has greatly impacted the Program Coordinators and administrative staff of the Section’s education programs, who now are organizing some of the programs’ most important events of the year from afar.

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Drs. Ferrari, Montefiori, and Tomaras
Guido Ferrari, MD, David Montefiori, PhD, and
Georgia Tomaras, PhD

Understanding COVID-19 Antibodies is Crucial to Vaccine Development

A trio of researchers at Duke University School of Medicine who have long collaborated to study how the immune system’s antibodies respond to HIV infection are now focusing on the new coronavirus.

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James Meza, MD
James Meza, MD, General Surgery Chief Resident

An Inside Look at the COVID-19 Pandemic: Dr. James Meza

The final year of residency holds many milestones. For general surgery administrative chief resident James Meza, MD, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the last few months of his residency, but has also become a defining time in his career.

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Persona holding a map

Post-Pandemic Predictions About Cancer Disparities After COVID-19

“Are we there yet?” A question both expected and dreaded by parents everywhere. Usually asked about 10 minutes into a long drive or flight, it not only reflects our children’s impatience but also their ignorance (innocence?) about time and space, about what it takes, in minutes and money and movement, to get from where we are to where we need to be.

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Emergency Medicine team members practicing social distancing
The Emergency Medicine team practices social
distancing during the Thank You Duke Health

Coping with COVID-19: Emergency Medicine Introduces Resiliency Working Group

As a front-line responder, Dr. Catherine Staton has experienced first-hand the stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit, she says emergency medicine providers were overwhelmed with a lot of information about the risks associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This explosion of information led to trepidation about becoming infected themselves and possibly bringing the virus home to their families.

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Duke Plastic Surgery Residents
Duke Plastic Surgery faculty and residents on
a videoconference call

Divide and Conquer: Responding to COVID-19 with Residency Platoons

To care for patients, healthcare providers must stay healthy themselves. During the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke’s surgical residency programs faced a serious challenge: how to keep their residents safe, healthy, and available, while still meeting the needs of patients in a rapidly changing global landscape.

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LTA office door
Office of the Laboratory for Transformative


Surgical Case Selection: How the Laboratory for Transformative Administration Works with Surgeons to Schedule Cases During COVID-19

Hospitals and the many healthcare professionals working in them strive to bring the best care to their patients no matter the circumstance. Once the threat of COVID-19 came to light, healthcare workers were advised to prioritize hospital admissions for those who were afflicted with the coronavirus, but where does that leave patients who already scheduled a surgical procedure during this time period?

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Dr. Jason Theiling and Dr. Dan Gilstrap
Dr. Jason Theiling with Dr. Daniel L. Gilstrap

An Inside Look at the COVID-19 Pandemic: Dr. Jason Theiling

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Dr. Jason Theiling spends most of his time in the emergency department. As medical director, he now works most days of the week to treat patients requiring emergency care while meeting the new demands of the pandemic.

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Dr. Amy Alger
Dr. Amy Alger, Assistant Professor of Surgery

An Inside Look at the COVID-19 Pandemic: Dr. Amy Alger

Before getting into her car to go home, Dr. Alger begins a 3-step decontamination process. She changes out of her scrubs and personal protective equipment (PPE), scrubs her hands, and puts on new clothes. As soon as she gets home, she immediately throws her clothes in the laundry and takes a shower, all before interacting with her kids.

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Dr. Henry Rice
Dr. Henry Rice, Professor and Chief of Pediatric
General Surgery

Dr. Henry Rice Leads Study to Improve Surgical Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Under the leadership of Dr. Henry Rice, Duke Surgery will participate in two global health studies to improve surgical outcomes in patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr. Priyamvada Acharya
Priyamvada Acharya, PhD, Associate Professor of

Duke Leverages Cryo-Electron Microscope Facility in the Race for Coronavirus Vaccine

Although most research laboratories at Duke University are shuttered to prevent future transmission of the Covid-19 coronavirus, one of the few to remain open houses a powerful machine that Duke researchers think will be instrumental in developing a vaccine for the virus.

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