Tidelands Health offers new COVID-19 antibody treatment for high-risk patients

Coronavirus

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — Tidelands Health says it’s one of 12 hospitals in South Carolina offering a new COVID-19 antibody treatment that could lessen hospital stays and the use of ventilators for high-risk patients.

Tidelands Health said it’s working with a limited amount of doses, but hopes the new treatment will lessen the blow for at-risk patients. The hospital said it has a new arrow in its quiver to fight against COVID-19.

“THe arrow is called Bamlanivimab,” Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Gerald Harmon said. “It’s called a monoclonal antibody.”

Treatment therapy where antibodies block the virus from attaching and spreading. A treatment, but not a vaccine.

“This, however, gives you direct antibodies itself,” Harmon said. “It doesn’t wait around. It’ll immediately start attacking the virus when you get this.”

Doctors say it will help high-risk patients recover faster.

“It won’t get rid of the virus,” Harmon said. “I would hope it would lessen your symptoms.”

Symptoms that keep patients on oxygen and ventilators with long hospital stays. Antibodies work to block areas where the virus does the most damage.

“We keep that virus from attaching to their lungs in high numbers,” Harmon said. “We can keep the disease burden, the viral load, down from it’s injuries that it can cause to the system, then they won’t be sick 60 days later.”

Doctors say the less sick high-risk patients are, the less permanent damage is caused, and this treatment is a good start.

“They won’t have heart damage,” Harmon said. “They won’t have neurological damage. They won’t have an increased risk for stroke blood clots. All the things we know that this disease when it really gets a hold of somebody.”

Harmon said even though supplies are limited, the treatment is completely free to patients.

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