FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The popularity of monoclonal antibody infusions as therapy for mild COVID-19 symptoms is increasing in Fort Worth.
Over the weekend, one of the two sites offering the treatment in town was near capacity. A Texas state run site was set up in the city’s hospital district at 816 Eighth Avenue and a second site is at MedStar’s headquarters at 2900 Alta Mere Drive.READ MORE: Red Cross Hoping To Increase Blood Supply With Opening Of New North Texas Donation Centers
Doug Loveday is a spokesman for the TX Department of State Health Services, and said, “On Friday we had over 110 patients who received the infusion therapy, Saturday was over 145 and that’s getting pretty close to capacity at that center.”
A physician’s referral is needed to access both the state’s infusion center as well as MedStar’s site. Over at MedStar headquarters, spokesperson Matt Zavadsky said their purpose is to serve as an overflow of patients from the hospital as well as first responders.
Zavadsky added, “We anticipate the need is going to grow because more and more people are becoming aware of this opportunity and the prevalence of COVID doesn’t seem to be slowing down.”
According to officials and medical experts, the main goal of using the monoclonal infusion drug known as Regeneron is to treat COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms early and outside of a hospital. Lewisville fire captain, Teran Moore was receiving his treatment at the MedStar location on Monday.READ MORE: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President To Step Down Following Trading Disclosure
“I came in here with a headache and it’s already gone, so I’m pretty impressed with that. I’m already feeling a little better.”
Captain Moore also encouraged others who need the treatment to seek it out. “By all means if you can get in here and find a place that does it, do it.”
Karen Fields, also had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and was experiencing mild symptoms.”I feel like it gives me some protection from getting sicker than I am. So I’m really relieved to be able to come and get this here.”
Medical experts said there is still in eligibility requirement that includes at least the following:MORE NEWS: Texas Inmate Rick Rhoades Faces Execution For Fatally Stabbing Brothers 30 Years Ago
- 12 years of age or older
- Weigh more than 88 pounds
- Be within a 10 day window of when first symptoms presented
- Cannot have previously received any kind of oxygen therapy.
Officials said the infusion itself lasts about 15-20 minutes but patients are monitored for an additional hour for adverse reactions.