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Colorado COVID patients struggle to receive monoclonal antibody therapy

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Commerce City, Colorado — Monoclonal antibody therapy is referred to as the “miracle treatment” for patients with COVID-19, but only if it is available. In Colorado, that makes a lot of sense.

Studies show Treatment works to keep 80% of patients with COVID-19 away from the hospital. However, in Colorado, some patients are forced to fight for treatments that can save their lives.

Audrey Goodman, a resident of Adams County, didn’t expect her to fight COVID-19 and fight for life.

She is a registered nurse in Colorado and is fully vaccinated. She had a groundbreaking incident two weeks ago, and it’s an understatement to say that it was hit hard.

“I got worse and I had a hard time breathing,” Goodman said. “I thought [I was going to die].. I think it was about the third day. I thought I would literally die. “

She asked her doctor about a treatment she read called a monoclonal antibody. It’s effective. This is free. But in Colorado, it’s not easy to get.

“Kaiser’s doctor was very kind,” Goodman said. “But she literally said,’I have never introduced this, so bear with me. I have to understand it.'”

Dr. Adit Ginde, UC Health’s emergency physician, said there is a knowledge gap between some systems and providers.

Last month, UC Health provided nearly half of the infusions of monoclonal antibodies in the state and began actively working with patients at high risk of benefiting from treatment.

Still, Gandhe said throughout the state that life-saving treatments have not reached enough Colorado.

“Currently, it relies on health care systems and providers, orders and referrals, and sometimes it creates enough barriers that most people in need of treatment cannot get it,” he said.

He believes that state-controlled solutions are needed to complement the healthcare system to help manage treatment more broadly.

“It’s certainly of interest at the state level. It’s enough to be able to move the needle forward to care for patients in the area,” he said.

But like vaccines, treatment is politicized. Doctors and public health officials have emphasized that this treatment is not a substitute for vaccines.

However, some states have been working to streamline the process for getting it. Florida and Texas have set up walk-in regional infusion centers for the general public to receive treatment.

“I know we’re doing a lot with these healthcare systems, so this helps relieve some of the pressure, so this is because Ron DeSantis said at a press conference in August. It makes up for that and expands as needed. “

Contact Denver7 contacted Colorado and asked why the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment did not open an open infusion center.

In a statement, a spokesperson said authorities were considering options to increase access to treatment. But for some, the effort is too slow.

“This is a time-sensitive treatment,” Ginde said. “Ideally, this is given to be most effective in the first few days of illness. The problem is that many people can take days while waiting for treatment. They can’t get treatment. When you’re in the hospital, it’s actually too late to get treatment. “

For Goodman, it took a few days to finally make an appointment with the infusion center, but only a few hours to feel the results.

“I literally felt that something had reached my body and the virus holding my lungs had torn everything from my body,” she said. “And I feel better every day. I felt like I was around the corner. It was literally like a miracle medicine to me.”

Still recovering from her illness, she wants everyone to know what helped her pull her out and make it accessible to everyone through a system that actually works.

“If you feel sick, you have to fight for it,” Goodman said. “It doesn’t seem like a good system for something that can save so many lives.”

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