Native American COVID-19 patients who received monoclonal antibody treatments were less likely to be admitted to ICUs or die, study finds – further boosting hopes the drugs are a powerful tool against the virus

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  • Monoclonal antibodies could be an important treatment for high-risk Native Americans who become ill with COVID-19, a new study shows
  • In a study of COVID patients at a reservation hospital in Arizona, none of the patients who received monoclonal antibodies were admitted to the ICU or died of the disease
  • Treatment boosts immune systems of vulnerable patients, helping to protect them from more severe COVID symptoms
  • Patients who received treatment were also less likely to need to be hospitalized or transferred to a secondary medical facility
  • Study shows the treatment is effective for Native Americans, a group worst hit by COVID in the US

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A new study suggests that monoclonal antibodies may be an important treatment for high-risk Native Americans who contract COVID-19.

Researchers at the Whiteriver Service Unit, a health facility on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, found that none of the patients who received monoclonal antibodies required intensive care or died from the disease.

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Patients treated with monoclonal antibodies were also less likely to require hospitalization or transfer to a secondary medical facility.

Findings suggest the treatment – which boosts the immune systems of vulnerable patients – is effective for Native Americans, a group hit hardest by Covid in the US

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A new study suggests that monoclonal antibodies may be an effective treatment for reducing the severity of COVID-19 in high-risk Native American patients. Pictured: A patient is taken by ambulance to the emergency room in Navajo Nation, Arizona, May 2020

Indigenous Americans are more likely to die from COVID than other demographic groups in the US, according to the APM Research Lab

Indigenous Americans are more likely to die from COVID than other demographic groups in the US, according to the APM Research Lab

Monoclonal antibodies are a common treatment for COVID patients, especially those considered to be at high risk for severe symptoms.

It works by providing an infusion of lab-made immune system proteins specifically designed to fight the coronavirus.

For many patients, treatment can prevent a case from becoming so severe that the patient needs hospital care.

However, previous studies of this treatment have not included Native Americans – who are highly vulnerable to severe COVID cases, the data show.

According to one, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are 3.3 times more likely to die from COVID than white Americans during the first year of the pandemic. Analysis by APM Research Lab

statistics The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show a similar pattern.

Indigenous Americans have had a consistently high death rate through various stages of the pandemic, with a peak of 9.2 deaths for every 100,000 people during a week in December 2020.

As a result, physicians working at the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona saw the need for a study that evaluates how well monoclonal antibody treatments work for this vulnerable population.

Study – Published on Tuesday jama network open – Focused on high-risk Native American patients in the Whiteriver Service Unit, Primary Hospital, and Department of Public Health on this reservation.

Between December 2020 and February 2021, the health facility treated a total of 983 patients who received positive COVID tests.

Physicians screened these patients to evaluate whether they were eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment.

Eligible patients were older, had a higher body mass index (BMI), and had other pre-existing conditions increasing their risk for severe COVID-19.

A total of 481 patients met the criteria for monoclonal antibody treatment. Of these, 201 patients decided to undergo treatment.

Native Americans and Alaska Natives (yellow line) have consistently had higher death rates than other groups during the CDC data show

Native Americans and Alaska Natives (yellow line) have consistently had higher death rates than other groups during the CDC data show

Researchers found that patients who received this immune system-boosting treatment performed much better than those who did not.

Monoclonal antibody patients were less likely to require an acute medical visit, with 29 percent of these patients compared with 49 percent of patients who did not receive treatment.

Monoclonal antibody patients were also less likely to be hospitalized (17 percent compared to 43 percent of non-monoclonal antibody patients) or transferred to an outside facility for more high-level care (two percent compared to nine percent). is required.

In addition, none of the patients who received monoclonal antibody treatment were admitted to the ICU or died of COVID-19.

Eight patients died during the study period—all of whom met the criteria for monoclonal antibodies, but did not receive this treatment.

The findings of this study are in line with other research showing how monoclonal antibodies can prevent COVID cases from becoming severe.

But this research specifically shows that the treatment works well for high-risk Native Americans, a group that hasn’t been studied before.

The researchers found that the monoclonal antibody treatment worked well for patients at the Whiteriver Service Unit, a health facility on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.  Image: Whiteriver Indian Hospital, part of the facility

The researchers found that the monoclonal antibody treatment worked well for patients at the Whiteriver Service Unit, a health facility on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. Image: Whiteriver Indian Hospital, part of the facility

The authors noted that one driver of the WhiteRiver Service Unit’s success may be that patients were able to receive monoclonal antibody treatment in their combat with COVID – boosting their immune systems at the ideal time to prevent severe symptoms.

The average patient who received monoclonal antibodies did so within a day of their positive COVID test and within two days of experiencing symptoms.

Most patients — more than 75 percent — were treated within three days of the onset of their symptoms.

The study authors wrote, “WRSU reduced treatment times by integrating contact tracing, clinical outreach, in-house molecular testing, and an integrated public health and hospital system that streamlined information exchange. “

‘This approach may not be generalizable but is a model for other centralized health systems.’

The authors also noted that monoclonal antibodies ‘can be used to great effect…

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