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NHS Tayside Arms Itself Against COVID with Newly Approved Treatment

NHS Tayside is now treating people with specific health conditions using a new approach approved nearly one month ago.

They’re using monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 and so far they’ve screened over 500 patients, delivering 100 treatments.

Dr Monica Doyle, Clinical Director of Unscheduled Medicine, said, “It has been excellent to see so many of our patients receiving this new ground-breaking treatment. Tayside has been leading the way over the last few weeks with a fantastic team of nurses, pharmacists, administrative staff, GPs and consultants ensuring that anyone who is eligible is offered the treatment.   

“We are very lucky to work with such a great group of dedicated healthcare professionals delivering this to the people of Tayside. We have invested time and resources in this service as we believe it is of great benefit to our patients and will also help reduce the number of people who will need hospital care for COVID. This in turn helps us keep other services running. 

“However, these treatments are in addition to COVID-19 vaccinations and don’t replace them. Getting vaccinated is still the most important step that anyone can take to minimise the impact of COVID-19.” 

The treatment provides an additional layer of support to eligible patients who are considered high risk due to underlying health conditions.

Adults and children aged 12 or over are eligible to be assessed for this treatment if they are thought to be at high risk with a clinical condition or are taking certain immunosuppressant medications.

They must also have received a positive PCR test for COVID and have symptoms of COVID-19 that started in the last five days.    

 A clinician will then carry out an assessment to see whether the new COVID-19 therapies are suitable for them. If they are eligible, they will be contacted with further information on how to access the medicines. 

Lead Clinical Pharmacist Arlene Shaw said, “The treatment is a neutralising antibody treatment which aims to minimise deterioration of COVID-19 in high risk patients in the early stages of the disease, reducing the risk of hospital admissions and subsequent death. It works to block the virus from entering the body’s cells, which is why we have to treat people within five days of showing COVID symptoms. 

“Patients have welcomed the opportunity to be offered these additional treatments and feedback has reflected the well organised and timely delivery of treatments to this vulnerable population. The pathway has also highlighted NHS Tayside’s strength of collaborative working across boundaries and professions to deliver the best care possible for our patients.” 

More details about this treatment can be found on: https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid19treatments

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