By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When former President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, his doctors treated him with monoclonal antibody therapy.

He seemed to recover quickly. Now that same therapy is available now at Memorial Hospital Pembroke.

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“So far we have infused 270 patients, only four have returned to the hospital,” said Chief Nursing Officer Dave Starnes.

The infusion therapy, which received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, seems to work when the COVID-19 is detected early. This was the case with Ellis Mass.

“The only thing I can tell you is in a couple of days I started feeling better from the COVID. Was that the COVID running its course or did the monoclonal get rid of the virus faster. I can’t say, but I got better as soon as I got that infusion,” said Mass.

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“Patients 55 and older that have a positive COVID test and are symptomatic have a ten-day window to qualify for monoclonal infusion,” said Starnes.

Additional criteria for qualification include; having a body mass index more than or equal to 35, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, immunosuppressive disease or receiving immunosuppressive treatment, people over 65, and people over 55, who have underlying conditions such as obesity, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and immunodeficiency.

“Essentially it is an infusion of the monoclonal antibody in an IV and it takes about an hour to infuse,” said Mass.

Patients are sent home for recovery, keeping hospital beds free for more serious cases.

“We are trying to vaccinate the community as well. It is not always easy to get vaccinations and we have scores of monoclonal infusion we hope to get out to the communities best we can,” said Starnes.

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Those who have tested positive and meet the criteria should talk to their primary care physician about the infusion. If they can’t afford it for the infusion but have insurance, the insurer will be billed for the administration of the treatment.