St. Bernards, NEA Baptist offering antibody to treat COVID-19

Updated: Nov. 21, 2020 at 2:47 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - NEA Baptist and St. Bernards announced a new service for COVID patients Friday.

The two hospitals are the first in Northeast Arkansas to offer a monoclonal antibody, which is used to treat arthritis, cancer, and now, COVID-19.

The antibody is designed to treat those over 65 with underlying health issues who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 with the goal of preventing the progression of the disease.

The health issues include those with chronic heart disease and obesity, among others.

Chief Medical Officer Steve Woodruff with NEA Baptist says this is great news for hospitals in northeast Arkansas.

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

The antibody received emergency use authorization by the FDA on November 9. Shortly after NEA administered the antibody to their first patient, St. Bernards announced a new COVID clinic on East Matthews in Jonesboro.

Both hospitals say this is a welcome development, especially given the recent news that Northeast Arkansas leads the state in beds and ventilators used by COVID patients.

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