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Hospitals find positive results in COVID-19 treatments for patients



AUGUSTA, Ga. – Even as many COVID-19 patients our hospitals are dealing with, doctors say there’s still reason for optimism, as some treatments appear to be working.

It’s another record day for hospitalizations at AU Health, yet a good sign on the frontlines.

“We have fewer patients in the intensive care unit than we’ve had in the past by percent,” Dr. Jose Vazquez, AU’s chief of infectious diseases, said.

Vazquez says many of their COVID-19 patients are staying three to five days in the hospital. It used to be two to three weeks.

Health officials say back in April, they, quite frankly, didn’t know how to treat these patients. But now it’s a standard procedure.

“They all go on dexamethasone and Remdesivir,” Vazquez said. “We think that the sooner we start that the better patients do.”

They’re trying to keep them out of the ICU.

“Once you end up in the ICU on mechanical ventilation that’s when the mortality rate really goes up,” Vazquez said.

But AU says their new monoclonal antibody clinic is working to keep many out of the hospital in general.

“I don’t think we’ve had to admit anybody that’s received it,” Vazquez said.

And there’s proof even the first dose of the vaccine is working, just ask Dr. Ioana Chirca at University Hospital.

“I had antibodies from that one dose of the vaccine,” she explained.

And many staff at AU are preparing for their second dose tomorrow.

“The vaccines will become very important so we can get back to some kind of life by the summertime,” Vazquez said.

But that’s only if the community accepts it.

“It depends on each of us to make the right choices and try to protect others,” Chirca said.