Doctors share ways to treat COVID before hospitalization

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Doctors at the three major hospitals in Baton Rouge — Ochsner, Our Lady of the Lake, and Baton Rouge General — shared that most people who test positive will be able to manage their symptoms with over the counter drugs like Tylenol combined with rest.

Doctors said unless people are having a high fever or trouble breathing, they don’t need to come to the emergency room.

“We don’t want you having to decide what’s an emergency or not,” said Dr. Louis Minsky, Baton Rouge General Medical Center Chief of Staff. “My general rule of thumb is if you feel sick enough that you feel this is a real emergency, you need to go and seek care in that emergency room. It may be a wait but we’re trying to avoid the unnecessary individuals who are just looking for a test and an answer.”

One treatment hospitals are providing more of are monoclonal antibody infusions. This treatment previously was only for older patients with underlying health issues, but now it is opened up to more people.

“As you start to get more progressive symptoms, the first thing that we recommend is the monoclonal antibody infusions. We’ve done a lot at Ochsner to try and knock down the queue that had developed,” said Dr. Ralph Dauterive, Ochsner Medical Center Vice President of Medical Affairs.

Oschner is now giving out around 50 infusions a day. It is found to give some help to reduce the likelihood of becoming severely sick.

The CDC defines the treatment as “laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. Casirivimab and imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies that are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells.” 

There are some trial medications being used inside the hospital, but doctors said there is a lot of misinformation going around about treatments that actually work and are available.

“It is not a thing where you are absolutely going to end up seeing one of us. There are some options here,” said Dr. Christopher Thomas, Our Lady of the Lake Medical Director of Patient Safety. “The primary option that the people need to know is that they need to reconnect with clinical medicine, we need to connect with your physician.”

Dr. Thomas said people should rely on accurate information coming from people with medical degrees. Doctors encourage people who test positive to do regular tele-health visits with their doctors to decide if going to the hospital is necessary.

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