EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE / WYOU) – Health headlines these days focus on an increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the omicron variant.
Before omicron is detected in Pennsylvania, a leading healthcare provider is reviewing existing treatment options and prevention measures.
The UPMC, like other medical institutions, faces a harsh reality during the pandemic: the more cases of COVID-19 in the community, the more severe cases that will emerge. Even though COVID hospitalizations are now the highest in the UPMC chain since the same period last year, the news is encouraging.
“We are sharing our results of UPMC patients who could help other healthcare providers treat people with COVID-19 and reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths we are seeing this winter,” explained Erin McCreary, Pharm.D., Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship. Innovation and Infectious Diseases, UPMC.
She says UPMC has performed the world’s first and largest clinical trial comparing different methods of delivering monoclonal antibody therapy.
“We have found that giving this treatment to ambulatory patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 via injections under the skin, or subcutaneously, is essentially as effective as giving it intravenously,” McCreary said.
The UPMC reports that the method can more than double the number of patients treated with the drug and save as many lives as possible.
The outpatient procedure, if done early, serves another important purpose – keeping more people out of emergency rooms and hospital beds.
“We strive to be as efficient and effective as possible. We want to provide every minute of care you need in a hospital, but not an extra minute, ”said Dr Donald Yealy, UPMC Medical Director.
UPMC doctors also insisted on what we heard during much of this pandemic: get vaccinated, wear masks indoors or in crowds, stay home if you are sick and do -test yourself for COVID.
“I believe we can all have a healthy and happy vacation by working together, caring for each other and being diligent in taking these simple steps that we know are effective in protecting us from COVID- 19, ”said Dr Yealy. .
While doctors at UPMC have focused on COVID-19, including the emerging variant of omicron, the flu is very much on their minds.
They urge patients to get the flu shot as soon as possible.