June 20, 2021 9:48:37 am
In the past week, at least four Covid-19 patients were administered monoclonal antibodies drug cocktail at Civil Hospital in Panchkula. All the four patients reportedly felt fit within hours of being jabbed and were discharged a day after they were given with the cocktail drug. With this, the hospital in Panchkula became the first civil hospital in the state and the only hospital in the Tricity to have administered this drug.
“While earlier only medical colleges and hospitals were assigned this drug cocktail for use, Panchkula Civil Hospital too was given this opportunity as we asked for it this week. We felt we are at par with a medical college in terms of the facilities we were providing with the ICU care and Rapid Response Team (RRT). We were confident and thus asked for it. We were allowed, following which we successfully administered four doses,” says Dr Rita Kalra, SMO at Civil Hospital Panchkula, who has been managing the programme for the district.
The hospital has since been allotted as many as 100 such vials, each of which is given to two persons at a time.
While the first two patients were jabbed on June 15, an 84-year-old Subhadra Kaushal with several comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension, cardiac issues and age factor and a 61-year-old Maan Singh with hypertension; the next two jabs were given on June 17 to 83-year-old Sharda Aggarwal with diabetes, hypertension and cardiac issues and 55-year-old Lal Singh with diabetes and hypertension.
“I feel this is the best thing that could have happened for us,” says Neena Aggarwal, the daughter-in-law of Sharda Aggarwal, who had tested positive for coronavirus at Fortis Hospital. “She had slightly runny rose but had been sweating profusely. We went for her checkup at Fortis Hospital as she is a heart patient. There she tested positive. We were then told by someone that Panchkula is giving this miraculous monoclonal antibody cocktail. We did our research and reached there. She was fit and fine within no time. We brought her home within two hours,” she adds.
The antibody is being upheld as a miracle saver for vulnerable patients, if the symptoms are detected in early stages. “All four patients who showed symptoms, some with especially worrying trends became fit within a few hours and were discharged. While the vaccine makes your body produce antibodies, this cocktail already has antibodies and begins fighting the virus as soon as it is administered. The only important factor is that it should be given while the case is still mild, preferably in the first 7-10 days, when the lungs involvement is low. Because once there is lungs involvement, the antibody is of no use,” says Dr Kalra.
She says, Maan Singh who had been on oxygen for at least a day, did not require oxygen anymore after this cocktail drug was administered to him. Meanwhile, Subhadra Kaushal, who had fever for at least five days, too became fit within hours of being jabbed with the drug.
“My mother had fever for at least five days when we got her tested. She tested positive on June 15. I did not know of this cocktail and was informed by the doctors about it. I agreed to give it to my ailing and old mother. She has not had fever since then. I could not be more grateful that she got this, I cannot imagine what must have happened, had she not,” says Lalit Kaushal, Subhadra’s son.
The patients are being advised to take this vial on the basis of various factors including age, comorbidities and time period elapsed since they tested positive as the treatment is given to the patients who are at risk of developing severe disease, but their symptoms have been detected at an early stage. A panel of doctors deliberate on the case and judge if the patient is to be given the drug, and only after approval the medication given in accordance with the norms.
So far, Haryana has received 590 vials of the antibody cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab that has been developed by Regeneron/Roche and is being marketed in India by Cipla. About 100 vials have been supplied to the hospitals in Gurgaon, Panchkula and Faridabad, while Rohtak PGIMS has got about 205 vials. One vial of the drug is used for two patients, who have developed mild Covid-19 symptoms, but have a high chance of progression to severe disease. It is administered through a single IV infusion. The therapy aims to reduce hospitalisation among Covid-19 patients.
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