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I practise at the St Bartholomew’s Medical Centre in Cowley, Oxford, and am currently full-time clinical (5 days a week) and conducting my research in the evenings and over the weekends (fitting it in when I can!)"
- Dr Asli Kalin

Dr Asli Kalin, SPCR Clinical Research Fellow based at the University of Oxford writes about the medication prescribed to patients with longstanding lung disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. The blog: Should people with chronic respiratory health problems stop taking long term oral immunosuppressants? was written on behalf of the Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service Team, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

A summary of the research

The COVID-19 pandemic raises a multitude of questions for people with chronic disease. One of them is how we should manage patients with longstanding lung disease who are also taking medication that suppresses their immune system?

The main concern is that these medications could be harmful if patients were to become infected with COVID-19 because of the effect they have on the immune system.

Current evidence, however, shows that the most important thing is to manage patients' lung condition as best as possible and therefore continue all their long term medication. If patients were to develop symptoms of COVID-19, however, it is then best to stop their immunosuppressive medication temporarily but to always continue their steroid medication." 

During her fellowship, Dr Kalin is studying health technologies and, in particular, those using artificial intelligence.