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Antibody infusion treatment becomes more accessible at Memorial Hospital

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:59 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Memorial Hospital at Gulfport ramping up its monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19. The hospital is now providing potentially life-saving treatment on an almost industrial scale.

The monoclonal antibody treatment is so effective at treating COVID-19, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport wanted to make it more available.

“We saw the need, the numbers were high, we see the benefit of the infusions so we kept pressing and pressing,” said Kristian Spear, Nurse practitioner, advance practice manager.

Memorial started the year with one infusion clinic and expanded that to three, but it still wasn’t enough to keep up with the surging demand of the Delta variant.

The hospital hired IEM and their partner AshBritt Logistics to set up a massive infusion center at Memorial’s fitness center. Since August 31, the new center has taken some of the stress off of the hospital.

“They gave us our hospital floor back,” said Spear. “Because we were taking up a whole floor of the hospital, and we have the capability here to do 200 patients a day while freeing up our staff to take care of patients in the hospital as well as give us space in the hospital.”

Spear said the effectiveness of the infusion gave them a good reason to make it more available.

“We’ve infused over 5,000 patients and we’re seeing a little over 2% of patients that end up having to go into the hospital If they get the infusion,” said Spear. “Now the key to that is getting it as soon as possible.”

IEM has delivered more than 35,000 infusions in 11 clinics across three states. Dr. Rashid Chotani is the Medical Director of IEM Health. He praised Memorial for its efforts to control the virus.

“This is a treatment that is available across the nation and Memorial Hospital has been at the forefront of making sure that this treatment modality, which is a remarkable modality, is available,” said Chotani.

Spear also added “I look at this as a standard of care. This needs to become the standard of care for COVID. Because as much as we want it to go away, it doesn’t appear it’s going away.”

Spear emphasized that patients should get tested as soon as they experience any symptoms of COVID-19 and if they are positive, schedule an infusion immediately.

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