COVID Treatments

For hospitalized patients with COVID-19

Medication and Other Therapies 
The FDA approved an antiviral drug called remdesivir to treat COVID-19 in adults and children over the age of 12. Remdesivir can be prescribed for people hospitalized with COVID-19 and is given intravenously.

Convalescent plasma therapy uses blood donated by people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 to help others recover. The blood has antibodies to the virus which helps boost patient’s ability to fight COVID-19. Convalescent plasma therapy may be given to people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 to help lessen the severity or shorten the length of the disease.

In patients with severe COVID-19 who require oxygen support, dexamethasone can be given. Dexamethasone is a steroid given orally or intravenously for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19.

Respiratory helmets improve oxygen flow and allow critically ill COVID-19 patients to breathe easier, remain conscious and avoid intubation. The airtight helmet surrounds the patient’s head from the neck up, sealing in life-saving oxygen.

Respiratory Care utilizes oxygen therapy via High Flow Nasal Cannula which is a system that uses high liter flow and high FiO2 (percent of oxygen) to ensure adequate oxygenation and decrease the work of breathing. BiPAP is also used in COVID-19 patients who have co-morbidities such as COPD to improve the work of breathing. Proning encourages patients to lie on their stomachs. In some instances, Physical Therapy consults take place.

Outpatient Monitoring Program 
Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 that meet certain criteria have the option to be discharged earlier and monitored in the comfort of their own home with support by our health care team. Care packs are created with all the necessary items patients need to safely be at home with a support person including a thermometer for monitoring temperature, an oxygen saturation monitor to measure heart rate and oxygen saturation, handouts with educational information and instructions, and a 24/7 hotline in case of an emergency.

For patients with COVID-19 at high risk for hospitalization

Pre-Hospitalization Outpatient Monitoring Program 
CHI St Alexius Health launched a second COVID care program, focusing on patients newly diagnosed with COVID. Inclusion criteria for the program are adult patients (>18 years) who are COVID + (or presumed +) with 1 of the following:

  • Low dose home oxygen needs (<2 liters)- new supplemental oxygen use or increase in chronic oxygen use
  • Temperature >100.4
  • New respiratory symptom or diarrhea
  • High risk for complications (>60 years old, chronic medical condition, obesity, smoker, lung disease, and/or diabetes)

Patients presenting to the following locations will be eligible for inclusion in the pilot project: Emergency Room, Urgent Care, Century Family Clinic, Mandan Medical Plaza, and Pinehurst Clinic.

The outpatient program consists of a combination of Nurse Navigator phone calls and daily electronic check-ins via email and/or text messaging using the free, online Wellbe tool. Patients can be referred to the program by the attending physician at any of the pilot locations above. A Nurse Navigator will call the patient the following day to begin the program.

Monoclonal Antibodies 
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells. Monoclonal antibodies have shown promise in helping reduce hospitalizations of high-risk patients who have contracted the virus.

CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck received a supply of monoclonal antibodies to be administered. It is given as an intravenous infusion. You must have a referral and order from a physician in order to receive this medication.

Requirements for administration:

  • Must be 12 years or older.
  • Must have a confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus test AND be at high risk for hospitalization.
  • Must have a physician referral.

If you have tested positive and are curious if you qualify for treatment, consult with your provider.

How you can stay protected

At this time, CHI St. Alexius Health is currently vaccinating phase 1B by priority according to the ND Department of Health guidelines. For more information on the vaccines, visit our FAQ page.