ST. CHARLES, Mo. – St. Joseph Hospital is preparing to restart their COVID Monoclonal Antibody treatment on Monday.
Monoclonal antibodies are a lab-made antibody infusion that helps COVID-19 patients at the beginning of their symptoms, reduce the severity.
The FDA has resumed its distribution. Many St. Louis area hospitals getting access to the treatment.
St. Joseph hospital in St. Charles used it at its height of the COVID-19 surge back in January.
The need for it eventually wanned but now the demand is back.
“It actually died for a little while so, about May or June, we were down to one or two patients a week and then the Delta variant came and we had a whole new wave of COVID-19 infections so the hospitalizations went back up,” St. Joseph Hospital Director of Pharmacy Joseph Buchanan said.
That’s why hospitals like St. Joseph have been asking for more treatments to help those at high risk. Since the start of 2021, nurses have treated more than 700 patients.
They expect with the expansion of outpatient treatment, that number will increase significantly.
“By coming back here, the way the rooms are set up, we can get 15-20 per day,” Buchanan said.
Those deemed high risk such as patients with diabetes or compromised immune systems will be referred by a physician once they test positive. They’ll sit in a chair and get two infusions through an I.V. Drip within 30 minutes.
The goal is to boost your defense system whether vaccinated or not.
“You’re looking at only 5-6% of patients getting hospitalized versus 14 if they didn’t get it so it’s uplifting.”
Some patients that usually get the drug are at a higher risk so they’re scared.
“Now they’re sick, now they’re like what can I do to be less sick,” Buchanan said.
Helping those most vulnerable have an advantage in their fight against COVID-19.