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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 16, 2020 7:52 PM
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: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
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