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Niagara Falls Memorial opens center for administering monoclonal COVID-19 antibody therapy

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Wed, Dec 9th 2020 01:15 pm

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center on Wednesday announced it is performing COVID-19 antibody therapy on an outpatient basis to those who qualify.

The therapy, known as monoclonal antibody infusion therapy, is authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate coronavirus patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe status or hospitalization.

The medical center has opened a specially designed monoclonal antibody infusion center at which to administer the treatment, said President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo.

“To enhance safety for all our patients the new center is located in a remote area of the hospital and has its own entry and exit,” he explained.

“This treatment isn’t for everybody,” said Rajinder Bajwa, M.D., chief of Memorial’s infectious diseases division. “At this point we see administering it as a way to keep COVID patients out of the hospital.”

Generally speaking, eligible patients are those who:

√ Have tested positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of the onset of their symptoms.

√ Are least 12 years of age and weigh at least 88 pounds.

√ Are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. What’s used for this infusion therapy is specifically directed against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and is designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells.

To learn more, contact a primary care provider or call Memorial’s infectious disease clinic at 716-278-4820.

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