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Remdesivir and Convalescent Plasma Treatments Beneficial for Qualified Hospitalized Patients

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Remdesivir and Convalescent Plasma Treatments Beneficial for Qualified Hospitalized Patients

Two of the most talked about treatments for COVID-19 patients are being used at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) to help hospitalized patients recover from moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms. Based on clinical trials, infectious disease specialists say remdesivir and convalescent plasma therapies can help improve outcomes for some patients.

“Remdesivir and convalescent plasma are not a magic bullet,” says SVMHS Infectious Disease Specialist, Mahendra Poudel, MD. “We use these therapies on hospitalized patients based on guidance from the state and strict criteria developed with the Monterey County Health Department and our partner hospitals.”

The US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization last month for remdesivir, an intravenous antiviral medication. Dr. Poudel says he has seen positive results in select SVMH patients similar to studies which indicate the medication can reduce the length of stay in a hospital by 2-4 days.

SVMH also has convalescent plasma on site which is a blood product processed by Vitalant. The convalescent plasma is donated by individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and contains antibodies that can help people with COVID-19 recover faster. Supplies of remdesivir and convalescent plasma are limited and infectious disease specialists remind the public, the most powerful tools identified so far during this pandemic are simple and available to everyone.

“These limited treatments only come into play once someone is hospitalized,” says Dr. Poudel. “The shelter in place orders have proven the effective and consistent use of social distancing, face covering and hand washing are what will help prevent infection in the first place.”