Polk Medical Center has joined Floyd Medical Center in using antibody therapy to fight COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatment is showing early success in keeping patients with mild to moderate cases from needing hospitalization.
Two patients received the therapy at Polk Medical Center on Thursday.
“We are doing everything we can to keep these sick patients from getting sicker," said Tifani Kinard, Polk Medical Center Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer. “This treatment could be a determining factor in keeping area residents from needing to be admitted."
Any patient 65 or older who meets the following criteria is eligible to receive the treatment:
- Tested positive for COVID-19 within 4 days of the treatment
- Started showing symptoms within 10 days of receiving the treatment
- Is not hospitalized
- Has a mild to moderate case of COVID-19
- Weighs 88 pounds or more
- Does not require additional oxygen
Patients between the ages of 12 and 64 must also meet the above requirements while also exhibiting signs of any other serious conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, COPD, asthma or sickle cell anemia.
Floyd Medical Center has been offering the treatment since November. To date, approximately 262 COVID-19 positive patients have received the treatment and only 7 have required hospitalization afterward.
“The ability to keep COVID-19 patients from requiring hospitalization is great news for them and the hospital as well," said Dr. Ken Jones, Floyd's Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “Floyd is committed to using all appropriate treatment options to keep people well."
The most common side effects to the infusions include diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, itching and headaches, although serious and unexpected reactions to the drug are possible.
Patients who might benefit from the intravenous infusions will be referred by Floyd Primary Care or Floyd Urgent Care providers.