COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is working to reduce the stress on its hospitals by treating COVID-19 patients before their symptoms become severe.
What You Need To Know
- The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is hosting its Monoclonal Antibodies Infusion Clinic
- The clinic is located at OSU East Hospital
- Monoclonal antibody infusion therapy targets the “spike protein” of the coronavirus before it enters human cells and causes damage
The health system has brought back its Monoclonal Antibodies Infusion Clinic at OSU East Hospital in full force. The clinic first opened in Nov. 2020, but was scaled back as cases dropped this summer.
“Last month, in September, was the busiest the clinic has been during entire pandemic,” said Dr. Jonathan Parsons, Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.
Monoclonal antibody infusion therapy targets the “spike protein” of the coronavirus before it enters human cells and causes damage.
“Basically, what we’re doing is trying to block that protein by giving plasma protein or antibodies to stop that from occurring,” said Parsons.
It’s different than the vaccine, which works to induce the body to make its own antibodies, not infuse them directly like monoclonal therapy.
Mark DeBard was fully vaccinated against coronavirus when he tested positive for COVID-19. His symptoms were mild, but because he was in the high-risk category, his doctor recommended the treatment.
“I did get it on my fourth day of illness,” said DeBard. “I was pretty sick in bed, not eating, aching, coughing, and 24 hours after the infusion, I was 98% better.”
Parsons said monoclonal antibody treatment reduces the risk of hospitalization by 70%, which in term reduces stress on the health system.
“It’s not going to cure the COVID-19,” said Parsons. “The idea is to prevent progression from mild to moderate to severe symptoms where you might need to present to an emergency department or hospital. It’s ultimate goal is to reduce the number of hospitalizations which is important because our hospitals are overflowing.”
People ages 65 and older qualify for monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, so do others in the high-risk category.