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Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Available at Onslow Memorial Hospital

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Onslow Memorial Hospital (OMH) has taken steps to help prevent the spread of the disease, educate the public on safe health measures, and care for patients who catch or are at risk of catching the disease. Most recently, OMH has introduced monoclonal antibody treatment for patients 12 and over who are at a high risk for severe COVID-19.

"These are patients that are not yet sick enough to be in the hospital but could progress to really severe COVID given their risk factors," says Dr. Steven Spencer, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

Monoclonal antibody treatment is intended to replicate what the body does normally. Monoclonal antibodies attach to the receptors on the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus so they cannot attach to the host's cells. If the virus is unable to attach, then it is unable to infect the cell. This decreases the virus' ability to replicate and causes severe illness.

Dr. Spencer stated that research has found patients who receive the monoclonal antibody therapy are 70% less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19. "COVID-19 patients who are admitted to the hospital by default are more sick and more likely to have a worse outcome, including death." He also clarified that this treatment is not a replacement for the vaccine and those who are able to receive the vaccine should consider it.

Autumn Foy, Director of Clinical Informatics, set up the monoclonal antibody treatment program with Dr. Spencer; Byron Lee, Director of Pharmacy; and Regina Lanier, Chief Nursing Officer. "We worked with our UNC Health partners to quickly operationalize a monoclonal antibody delivery system at OMH," says Foy.

Foy also pointed out the benefit this treatment has for the community. "We are proud to offer this COVID-19 therapy to our community. Those who need this treatment don't have to travel; they can receive it right here at home."

To receive the REGEN-COV monoclonal antibody therapy from Onslow Memorial Hospital, a patient must be referred by a physician or provider. Starting Monday, November 1, 2021, REGEN-COV clinic hours at Onslow Memorial Hospital will be 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.