Successful outcome using Tocilizumab in COVID-19 pneumonia with respiratory failure on a ward level

Bianca Codrina Morarasu, Ahmad Basirat, Minesh Kooblall, Stephen Lane


We describe the case of a 40-year-old man of Asian ethnicity, who presented with one week history of shortness of breath, productive cough, intermittent hemoptysis, temperature, and systemic symptoms. He had a positive nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2, standard COVID panel admission blood tests, a chest X-ray and a CT Pulmonary Angiogram. Significant bilateral infiltrates and no pulmonary embolism were identified. The patient received standard COVID-19 treatment. After 36 hours, he deteriorated requiring initiation of non-invasive ventilatory (NIV) support. In the context of worsening clinical status, the patient received Tocilizumab as a single dose with good clinical response. Early Tocilizumab intervention in appropriately selected patients should improve the outcome and length of hospitalization in COVID-19 pneumonia. It can be used as an intensive therapy unit sparing agent allowing management of critically ill patients on a ward-based level. This may further contribute to prevention of intensive therapy unit related complications and increased mortality.


COVID-19 pneumonitis; Tocilizumab; respiratory failure

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