Update: It turns out Dr. Jason McElyea might actually be full of shit. After KFOR published this story, it was picked up by multiple news outlets (including us, obviously) and quickly went viral. Now, the hospital system that McElyea is affiliated with is saying that his story doesn’t add up.
“Although Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah, he is affiliated with a medical staffing group that provides coverage for our emergency room,” a message reads on the homepage of NHS Sequoyah’s website. “With that said, Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months. NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose. All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care. We want to reassure our community that our staff is working hard to provide quality healthcare to all patients. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue and as always, we value our community’s support.”
Also interesting to note is a story published in the New York Daily News on Sept. 2, one day after KFOR’s article was published, where the managing director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information, Scott Schaeffer, said that since “the beginning of May, we’ve received reports of 11 people being exposed to ivermectin.” That statement alone — 11 reports of Ivermectin exposure in the entire state — contradicts Dr. McElyea’s claims of patients ‘backing up’ hospital services in the region.
The headline of the his article has been updated as well. Read the full text of our original article below:
A doctor in Oklahoma says emergency rooms and ambulances are backed up with patients who took the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, KFOR reports.
“There’s a reason you have to have a doctor to get a prescription for this stuff, because it can be dangerous,” said Dr. Jason McElyea.
Dr. McElyea said people are overdosing on dosages meant for full-sized horses because they’ve fallen prey to internet rumors that the drug is an effective tool in the fight against Covid.
“The ERs are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated,” he said.
“All of their ambulances are stuck at the hospital waiting for a bed to open so they can take the patient in and they don’t have any, that’s it,” he added. “If there’s no ambulance to take the call, there’s no ambulance to come to the call.”
“Growing up in a small town, rural area, we’ve all accidentally been exposed to ivermectin at some time. So, it’s something people are familiar with. Because of those accidental sticks, when trying to inoculate cattle, they’re less afraid of it,” he said, adding that as a result, people are deciding for themselves what the correct dosages are.
“Some people taking inappropriate doses have actually put themselves in worse conditions than if they’d caught Covid,” said the doctor.
According to Dr. McElyea, people overdosing on Ivermectin experience nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and cramping — and that’s only the minor cases. “The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” he said.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘If I take this medicine, what am I going to do if something bad happens?’ What’s your next step, what’s your backup plan?” he said. “If you’re going to take a medicine that could affect your health, do it with a doctor on board. Make those decisions with a thoroughly vetted opinion. There’s a lot of schooling that goes into that. It’s not just something you look on the internet for and decide if it’s the right dose.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that Ivermectin has not been approved for use in treating or preventing Covid in humans. “Ivermectin tablets are approved [for humans] at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. Ivermectin is not an anti-viral (a drug for treating viruses).”
Watch KFOR’s report below: