Testimony: Doctor didn’t request medical records of Fairfield man before prescribing ivermectin

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:38 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Centerville doctor acknowledged in testimony on Thursday he did not request or review medical records including the treatment history of a man hospitalized with COVID-19 before prescribing an unproven anti-parasite drug.

The court case revolves around ivermectin, which has gained popularity as an alternative treatment for COVID-19 despite not being an anti-viral drug.

Doses of the drug meant for animals can be highly toxic―even fatal―in humans, and some states are reporting increasing calls to poison control as that version of the drug flies off store shelves.

Another version of the drug in human-appropriate doses is FDA-approved for use against head lice and some skin infections. The FDA is conducting clinical trials on this version to treat COVID-19, but currently, it has neither full FDA approval nor an emergency use authorization.

That brings us to Dr. Fred Wagshul, who prescribed 30mg daily doses of ivermectin to Jeffrey Smith, a 51-year-old Fairfield unvaccinated man on a ventilator at UC Health’s West Chester Hospital.

Wagshul has said he believes the drug is “very, very effective” against COVID-19.

The hospital refused the treatment citing lack of FDA approval, but on Aug. 23 a Butler County Judge approved an injunction requiring the hospital to follow through.

An appeals court considered that injunction in proceedings on Thursday. The judge will listen to closing arguments and issue his decision on Friday.

A key contention of the hospital’s attorneys is that Wagshul did not know Jeffrey’s medical history.

Wagshul confirmed in court he had not requested a certified copy of Jeffrey’s medical record from the hospital and that he “knew nothing about this patient at the time [he] wrote that prescription for ivermectin, other than conferences with Mrs. Smith [...]”

Jenny Smith, Jeffrey’s wife, testified her husband had been “up and down” on the ventilator prior to the injunction when he began receiving regular doses. Since then, he’s stabilized.

That was confirmed in part by Jeffrey’s ICU physician, Dr. Daniel Tanase, though Tanase also said Jeffrey is not at the point where he can come off the ventilator.

“Has it made a difference? I think it has,” Wagshul said of the ivermectin. “Can I prove it? No.”

Attorneys for the hospital also asked Jenny why she and her husband hadn’t gotten vaccinated, to which she replied they were concerned that it had not yet gotten FDA approval.

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