Trident Health offering antibody infusion treatments again as COVID-19 cases surge

Local News

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials with Trident Health Systems said they have hit an all-time high number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Not only an all-time high at Trident but a significant increase in the past week. Last Friday, Trident has only 84 patients admitted for COVID-19 – they have 109 patients admitted on Thursday.

To put that into perspective, July 23rd of last year was their record-breaking day for admitted patients. They only had 90 patients that day.

Out of the 109 patients who are currently admitted, 97 of them were unvaccinated.

Officials with Trident Health said getting vaccinated greatly reduces your chance of COVID-19 severity.

And there is more good news, Trident says they have an antibody infusion process they have brought back which has helped about 900 people lower their chance of hospitalization.

“We have had great responses. Individuals that came in fatigued, tired just doing awful an hour after the infusion, feeling like the weight have been lifted,” said Dr. Lee Biggs, Chief Medical Officer for Trident Health.

In November 2020, Trident Health began offering these infusion treatments. “Since November, we’ve treated over 900 people,” said Dr. Biggs.

He said the treatment takes about an hour to infuse the antibodies. “then we monitor them for about one-hour post-infusion for side effects,” he said.

Trident Health stopped infusions after COVID case numbers dropped earlier this year. But with a new rise in cases, they are once again holding infusion clinics.

The process has worked remarkably well with their group of 900.

“We’ve seen a 97% hospitalization avoidance rate. So, 97% of everybody receiving this treatment does not require hospitalization. They get better.”

This treatment is for high-risk COVID patients who have active symptoms and are in their first 10 days of symptoms. Your healthcare provider needs to refer you for treatment.

They are hoping this treatment can keep more people out of the hospital because that 109 hospitalized patient number is expected to get even worse within days.

“We don’t anticipate that we will see the maximum number of COVID-19 patients until sometime around the 27th of August for our area based upon positive testing rates that we are seeing now,” said Dr. Briggs

Dr. Biggs says their current record of 109 cases is projected to grow to possibly as high as 200 cases by next Friday.

He said the best thing people can do to protect themselves is to get vaccinated immediately.

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