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: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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