McLeod Health expands access to treatment for COVID-19 patients

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW)– McLeod Health hospitals are ramping up the number of monoclonal antibody treatments they can provide.

Two weeks ago, McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence could only offer four treatments per day. Now, the hospital can offer 24 treatments per day.

“The virus itself has what is called a spiked protein around it,” said Jenna Swindler, vice president of care transformation at McLeod Health. “This works to neutralize the virus by attacking that protein.”

The therapy aims to reduce the virus’s spread throughout the body and therefore reduce symptoms. Swindler said she has seen many success stories from the treatment.

“There have been so many that have sent letters in saying how wonderful and kind the nursing staff was to them, how they felt hopeful in what was a really desperate situation and physically felt so much better,” Swindler said.

The therapy is intended for symptomatic patients who are at risk of severe disease due to factors like high blood pressure or old age.

“This really provides patients with hope that they may not have had otherwise when they are diagnosed with something like COVID that can be really scary,” Swindler said.

The expansion has designated more areas in the hospitals to be used for the treatment. Swindler hopes it will keep more patients out of the emergency department.

“The sooner we can treat them, the better their outcomes will be,” Swindler said.

She said patients typically have the best response to the treatment within three to five days of their symptoms’ onset. McLeod hospitals first provided monoclonal antibody therapy in November. Since then, more than 2,500 patients have received it.

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