• Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

NEA Baptist offering antibody treatment for Covid patients

Updated: Sep 6


JONESBORO, Ark- NEA Baptist hospital received a limited supply of the monoclonal antibody to treat Coronavirus patients.

The hospital gave its first dose of the drug to a patient this morning, marking the first to be given in northeast Arkansas.

“He called me and said I was the first person in Northeast Arkansas to receive the treatment. I won’t say I’m nervous…but I’ve been nervous ever since I tested positive,” says patient Shirley Harmon.

Harmon isn’t too sure how she got the virus.

She started to develop symptoms and was diagnosed the night before the hospital received their shipment of the monoclonal antibody treatment.

After researching the virus, she wanted to try any treatment fast.

“Whatever you do the first few days are critical. I’ve always been told if I got this…it wouldn’t be good. So, you’re willing to try anything,” she says.

The process takes about two hours. It’s administered through an hour- long IV and medical staff monitored Harmon for an hour after.

Chief Medical Doctor for NEA Baptist, Dr. Steve Woodruff explains how the treatment works in the body.

“Pretty much cover up the Coronavirus which has a spike protein on it and make it where it cannot regenerate it’s self when it hits the body. So, you have to give it early,” says Dr. Woodruff.

The treatment received emergency approval from the FDA to treat high risk patients who qualify, like Harmon, who has heart disease among other health conditions.

Dr. Woodruff says the drug works immediately, something Harmon says she feels.

“Really I feel fine. I’m not aching like I did Wednesday night,” says Harmon.

The treatment could help hospitals who are overwhelmed from treating Covid-19 patients.

“If we can head this off and treat some of these high-risk patients early, then we can prevent them from being admitted and going down the path and save lives,” says Dr. Woodruff.

Harmon is able to home after the treatment and doctors they will continue to monitor her over the next few days but Dr. Woodruff says he’s optimistic.

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