A form of therapy for COVID-19 patients is being backed by the North Dakota Medical Association. Many treatments have been tested in the long fight against COVID-19. Now, the North Dakota Medical Association is advising doctors and physicians to utilize monoclonal antibodies to treat the virus.
“It does seem to be a tremendously powerful, early intervention in trying to decrease the risk of hospitalization and illness severity,” said Dr. Josh Ranum, the Vice President of the NDMA. The earlier the treatment is given to a patient, the more effective it’s been found to help in recovery for patients. The monoclonal antibody is manufactured protein that mimics the immune system.
“The term monoclonal means it has you know one target and its only mission in life is to seek and destroy the coronavirus spike protein,” said Dr. Ranum.
Dr. Ranum says medical facilities are now using this form of therapy across the state, like CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck at their heart and vascular center on weekdays. “We observe them while they’re getting monoclonal antibodies and we also observe them for a period of time after. This is obviously administered by a licensed nurse. Now if we’re outside our hours for the heart and vascular center, our emergency department is also infusing the monoclonal antibodies,” explained J’Patrick Fahn, the Director of Hospital Medicine and Critical Care for CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck.
This treatment requires a doctor referral and is for people who fall under a high risk category.
“You need to have one of the four comorbidities and that includes cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or COPD. When you’re older than age 65, equal to or older than age 65, you actually don’t need any other comorbidities. in order to receive monoclonal antibodies,” explained Fahn. Both physicians say the whole purpose is help lower the number of hospitalizations and keep people alive. Experts advise you not to receive the vaccine for 90 days after the treatment, but Dr. Ranum says your natural immunity will carry you through that period.
Nikiya Carrero Reporting
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