NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Trident Medical Center is doing a plasma treatment that they say will help change people’s lives who have been waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Biggs with Trident says the program helps patients recover faster.
“It offers us something while many individuals wait for their opportunity to get the vaccine. This is a viable treatment for those individuals that are sick from COVID, but they are not sick enough to be hospitalized,” he says.
Trident Medical has been able to treat almost 500 hundred patients since December.
“We have been able to take the plasma, or essentially the antibodies you would find in survived COVID individuals and then in a lab, increase the quantities to a level that when you give them back to an individual, it can shorten the disease progression,” Biggs says.
He also says patients who have tested positive can get this therapy in just a few minutes.
“We do what we call a see and treat. They come right out of the ED that day and get the one-hour infusion therapy and go right home,” he says.
Patients who are wanting to get the antibody need to make sure they are having symptoms first and COVID-19 test.
“Individuals need to be in their first 10 days of symptoms and they obviously have to have a positive COVID test. Right now if you are over 65, that’s all it requires,” Biggs says.
Trident Medical says this therapy is helping not just the people who receive it, but everyone else who’s in the hospital.
“It’s a game-changer, that those individuals that are potentially getting sicker, may not need to refer hospitalization and should not die at the same rate while they wait to get their vaccine,” he says.
Trident Medical is hopeful for the new antibody treatment patients can receive to help the rise in COVID-19 cases across the state.