NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Trident Medical Center is predicting they have avoided about 200 to 250 potential hospitalizations with monoclonal antibody infusions out of about 1,200 infusions since last November.
Donna Livernois says she got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a few months ago. She is 65 years old, has asthma, and Type-2 diabetes. She tested positive for COVID two weeks ago.
“If anybody was going to end up in the hospital it would be somebody like me,” Livernois said.
She said she was wheezing, had a runny nose, lost her taste and smell, and had covid fog brain. The Taylors woman says after not being able to find monoclonal antibody treatment in her area, her daughter, who lives in Moncks Corner, helped her find that Trident Medical Center was offering the treatment.
She received the treatments on Sept. 30, just two days after testing positive. She says the next morning, she already noticed significant improvements.
“Got up the next morning, I was barely wheezing,” Livernois said. “It was like night and day compared to the way I got down there.”
She says she was a little surprised after testing positive because she was vaccinated.
Trident Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Biggs says because of her other risk factors, her vaccination status did not play a factor in determining whether or not she could receive the monoclonal antibody treatment.
“It really doesn’t. I mean what we’ve seen with COVID infections and the vaccine is one, you should be less susceptible, but if you do get COVID and you’ve been vaccinated, your disease course should be less severe and shorter,” Biggs said. “But, with an overlay of age or preexisting medical conditions, you’re still at risk. So the vaccine status doesn’t play into whether or not you should get monoclonal antibodies.”
He says the goal of monoclonal antibody treatment is to prevent people at risk of being admitted into the hospital from having to go.
The infusion process takes about 45 minutes, and then patients are monitored for about an hour after, and then they can go home.
“I’m still a little old and creeky, but that’s what’s expected,” Livernois said. “I’m normal and I can talk to you and I have energy and I never went back to the hospital. That was the blessing part.”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has a full list of medical practices and primary care providers who administer monoclonal antibody treatment.
Biggs says Trident closed its monoclonal antibody clinic last week based on declining referral volumes, but patients qualifying for the treatment can refer themselves to different medical practices and primary care providers.
Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.