Staff shortage across UNC Health System impacting antibody infusions to treat COVID-19

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Monoclonal antibody sites are helping thousands of sick COVID-19 patients in the Triangle.

The treatment is meant to keep people out of the hospital.

Dr. David Wohl has been at an antibody monoclonal clinic in Chapel Hill this week providing the treatment.

“I’m right now at the antibody monoclonal clinic at Meadowmont where we do have capacity to give monoclonal antibodies to people,” said Dr. Wohl.

The clinics are popping up across the Triangle to help in the fight against COVID-19.

The sites are for people who tested positive for COVID, are at risk of severe illness from it, or are already sick from it.

The therapy consists of a handful of shots, taking about an hour long. People tend to feel better within a few days.

“One of the major limiting factors across our system is not having enough product, we have enough monoclonals right now, it’s not enough staff,” said Dr. Wohl.

Dr. Wohl said that’s because their staff is focusing on the nearly 400 COVID-19 patients in the UNC Health System’s hospitals — with 100 of them in intensive care units.

“Across our system, we have a staffing shortage because there’s so many people pulled to the hospital and the ICUs because of unvaccinated people with COVID-19 and that’s just a fact,” said Dr. Wohl.

They’re currently doing about 3,600 antibody infusions a month but said if they had the staff, they’d do more.

“We can’t even treat as effectively as we’d like to, the numbers of people with COVID-19 right now and preemptively household numbers, it’s authorized as well for household members who’ve been exposed to get a monoclonal antibody to prevent them from getting sick from COVID-19,” he said.

Wohl said the effort that will help the most is more people getting vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories