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NMMC is using “investigational” antibody treatment on some coronavirus patients

Vitalant Blood Services and NMMC are gathering and using antibodies from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to help treat other patients.

Posted: Jul 17, 2020 9:10 AM
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 6:40 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- A person who recovers from the coronavirus develops antibodies in the blood, giving his or her body the ability to fight off the illness. The theory is those antibodies can be given to a different person to give him or her an immunity boost and help defeat the virus. 

Hospitals around the country are beginning to use antibody treatments on coronavirus patients. Right now, The North Mississippi Medical Center is also participating in this new kind of “investigational” treatment, according to a press release from the North Mississippi Medical Center.

Vitalant in Tupelo is a blood services organization. Here, people are taking donations of plasma from people who have already recovered from the coronavirus.

Vitalant and the North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) have teamed up to provide this new treatment to coronavirus patients.

Doctors are participating in what a press release from NMMC called an "investigational" treatment that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

People who have recovered from the virus and meet some additional requirements can sign up to donate plasma to help others recover.

Professionals call the plasma with antibodies convalescent plasma.

Melinda Murphree of Vitalant said so far, early results of the treatment seem to be positive.

“The hospitals have reported pretty good results from what they have seen so far. We don’t have statistics in yet, but we have had verbally some good results,” Murphree said.

Murphree is a donor recruitment supervisor for Vitalant.

She said a few additional criteria convalescent plasma-donors must meet include being free of the virus for 14 days and have no virus symptoms.

She said demand is up for convalescent plasma. She added donors can be certain the donating process is safe.

“We always welcome donors to come in and donate so we can help the people that need it in the hospitals,” Murphree said.

This new treatment is experimental, according to Dr. Melinda Prewitt of Northeast Mississippi Medical Center.

“It is investigational, it is considered a study. It’s completely voluntary,” Prewitt said.

She said right now, hospitalized patients who meet certain criteria including being 18 years old, and having a condition serious enough to be hospitalized are able to receive the treatment, which is in the form of an injection.

She said it is too soon to tell if this is a breakthrough, but said positivity is powerful.

“We’re hopeful and optimistic about it, and we want to offer that to our patients,” Prewitt said.

She said they need help.

“We do need donors. We actually need people that have recovered.”

Prewitt and Murphree added getting and using the convalescent plasma is a team effort.

“Hopefully we can get that done,” Murphree said.

Anyone who has recovered from the virus and wants to donate convalescent plasma can visit Vitalant’s website here.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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