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Nacogdoches infusion center helps reduce area COVID-19 related hospitalizations

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:14 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2021 at 9:41 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - When word spread around the community about the Nacogdoches infusion center treating COVID-19 patients, many went to receive the monoclonal antibody treatment.

Dr. Charles Thompson, the chief medical officer at Nacogdoches Medical Center, said the infusion center has made a significant impact reducing the amount of COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

“We’ve had four surges from the virus and the pandemic. The last surge was in August and September, and we were at the peak of our hospitalizations,” Thomas said. “That was the highest number of hospitalizations we’ve had throughout the entirety of the pandemic, and that’s when the monoclonal antibodies became available, and there’s been a pretty dramatic drop in hospitalizations within the last four or five weeks,” Thompson said.

Thompson said at this time the infusion center was averaging about 60 to 70 infusions a day, but that number has decreased in the last month to about 30 to 40 infusions daily.

“The monoclonal antibodies are a game-changer. It’s a game-changer to the individual patient that gets COVID. We’ve had to date 2,022 patients that have been treated with monoclonal antibodies here in Nacogdoches and as far as we know we’ve had one admission to the hospital out of that group which is absolutely amazing,” Thompson said.

Abby Scoresonelli, the Nacogdoches County Emergency Management Public Information Officer, said the COVID-19 census has decreased in the last month to approximately 25 percent of occupied beds in hospitals.

“There’s no doubt that this infusion center really has benefited the people who are sick and it’s benefitted the hospitals being able to treat other patients,” Scoresonelli said.

Thompson stresses that monoclonal antibody treatments are not a substitute for the vaccine. Thompson said the best line of defense for a person against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

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