Deaconess Finds Big Success in Fighting COVID-19 With New Treatment

Deaconess said Tuesday that a treatment it received in November had been extremely successful in protecting high-risk individuals who had contracted COVID-19, citing a 100% survival rate of the 1,600 patients who have received the treatment so far.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 5:26 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 5:56 PM

Officials with Deaconess say the organization has had great success in the fight against COVID-19 through the use of something called a "monoclonal antibody treatment."

A video statement released by Deaconess on Tuesday explains that so far, Deaconess has infused 1,600 patients with the treatment since receiving it in November 2020.

Deaconess Medical Director Dr. Gina Huhnke says the results of the treatment, which is administered to high-risk individuals who have already contracted COVID-19, speak for themselves.

Dr. Huhnke says that so far, 6.6% of patients who received the medication have required hospital admission. "That's a very low percentage," said Dr. Huhnke.

Additionally, only 2.2% of patients who've received the treatment have been admitted to the ICU, and 2.8% have been admitted to the ER.

The most notable statistic, however: all of the patients who have been infused with the monoclonal antibody treatment have lived.

"None of them have passed away," said Dr. Hunhke. "And those who've required admission have had decreased severity of illness and have been discharged home faster."

Deaconess Dr. JoAnn Wood says her brother, who is a high-risk individual who has down syndrome, received the treatment after contracting COVID-19 and that "it was like magic."

"When he got home, he still had a little bit of a fever," explained Dr. Wood. "Literally the next day, he was without fever, without runny nose, and without any symptoms whatsoever." 

"It was as if it just made the whole virus go away with regard to symptoms," Dr. Wood continued. "It was like magic, it was such a blessing."

"Obviously our best shot is vaccination, but for the people that actually have the disease, we need therapeutics that work - and this has been proven to work," said Dr. Kevin Kernek, another recipient of the monoclonal antibody treatment. 

Deaconess's website says there are a few qualifications that must be met to receive the monoclonal antibody treatment.

The treatment is meant for patients who already have COVID-19 and are at high-risk for progressing to severe illness/hospitalization from it. The medication is also only available to patients who are in the first seven days of symptoms. You can see a full list of requirements to receive the treatment here.

You can also hear the full message released by Deaconess Tuesday on the monoclonal antibody treatment here.

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