Springfield clinic becomes pilot site for new antibodies treatment for COVID-19 patients

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 11:16 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2021 at 11:20 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some COVID-19 patients in Springfield are receiving an antibody treatment to help them battle the illness.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center is a pilot site for the new monoclonal antibody treatment.

The center began offering it on December 22 to outpatients with mild to moderate symptoms, who are at high risk of being hospitalized. Staff have treated around a dozen patients so far. The monoclonal antibody treatment mimics what your body’s natural antibodies would do, attacking the virus proteins. It’s the same type of treatment President Trump received in October. He then pushed for availability nationwide. The FDA gave emergency use authorization in November.

In Springfield, Mercy is offering it to patients in the emergency room, treating about 30 patients in the last couple of months. CoxHealth is providing it only through a clinical trial in rare cases. Jordan Valley staff say it’s been difficult for hospitals to administer, because of the time and space needed. You get it through an IV transfusion. Jordan Valley’s Express Care clinic is not set up for this kind of treatment either, but staff is making do to help patients.

“We’re not built as an infusion center, so we’ve become very creative, apparently using dental chairs for our infusion chairs, which is kind of outside the norm,” said Lisa Cillessen, Jordan Valley Community Health Center clinical pharmacist. “But we don’t have the equipment, what you would see in a normal infusion center.”

Jordan Valley staff says its providers are doing a three to five day follow-up, as well as a 10-day follow-up with each patient. They report patients have been feeling better with no complications.

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