By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – A year into the pandemic, doctors in Colorado and across the world have made significant strides in how to treat COVID-19 patients.

“COVID was really a brand new disease to us and we didn’t know the specifics about the best way to treat it,” said CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida in his weekly question and answer session with CBSN Denver.

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(credit: CBS)

He explained American medical providers relied on advice from physicians in other countries who had seen more cases. Now not only has the advice changed, the treatments have as well, creating more successful outcomes.

“We have actually seen, in many areas, survival rates after being the hospital are double what they were about a year ago because of improvements in treatments. That includes things like the use of steroids, remdesivir. Making sure we are using a ventilators a little bit less often than we did early on, understanding that ventilators can be a little hard on fragile lungs in people with COVID.”

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Hnida said doctors have also learned that having people lie in a prone position, or on their stomachs, increases lung capacity and protects the lung.

He said another important lesson was about blood clotting, especially microscopic blood clotting, and it is being treated proactively.

But he cautioned that while the treatment has gotten much better, it is important to understand there is no cure for COVID.

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“We still have worries about people who are getting sick and dying from COVID. The best treatment at this point in time remains prevention.”

Raetta Holdman