The Hypoxemia Hypothesis

Are We Treating the Wrong Disease?

[See the end of this page for an important announcement for doctors and researchers.]

Here is the main message of this post:

The idea is that patients are presenting with symptoms similar to high-altitude pulmonary edema, but we are treating them as though they have pneumonia (ARDS). This needs immediate study at the national and international level. If true, we must get the word out to hospitals:

  1. Use Chloroquin/Z-pac/zinc early
  2. Decrease the pressure of their ventilators, and
  3. Increase the O2 to the maximum

I’m trying to put everything about this new theory onto this page so researchers can find it and investigate.

New Information: Theory Seriously Flawed

You can read the papers and essays below, but recently a team of researchers debunked this theory in their essay:

Covid-19: Debunking the Hemoglobin Story

So that’s probably the one to read, but I include the rest here for people to discover if they want.

What is a Cytokine Storm?

New Scientist’s Alison George has a good summary:

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Recent Documents that May Shed Light

I’m trying to gather all the research here. I’m presenting it in no particular order:

Is Protocol-Driven COVID-19 Ventilation Doing More Harm Than Good? — Medscape news article published April 6.

Chris Martensen explains the theory that he says fits all the facts:

Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret — an article by an unnamed researcher. Removed from soon after it was published (perhaps Ev Williams will tell us why). Technical but worth reading if you are looking into this. The most comprehensive explanation of this hypothesis so far.

COVID-19: Attacks the 1-Beta Chain of Hemoglobin and Captures the Porphyrin to Inhibit Human Heme Metabolism — Chem Rxiv preprint paper released March 30th

Covid-19 Biological Perspective -Part 2 — a short article (not deleted by @ev) explaining that “This theory would imply then that its not the immune system as discussed in last article but the combination of viral proteins which are causing the harm.”

Why Some Covid-19 Patients Crash — NPR story

Into the Eye of the Cytokine Storm — Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews

It’s possible that people with Type-A blood do worse with COVID-19 than people with type O blood.

If you know of any other articles or resources, please send them to me.

Contact me if you can help.

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David Siegel is a serial entrepreneur in Washington, DC. He is the founder of the Pillar Project. He is the author of The Token Handbook, Open Stanford, The Culture Deck, Climate Curious, The digital money book, and A Tour of Climate Data. His full body of work is at

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Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.

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