CHICAGO (TBEN) – The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the emergency use of an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron. The FDA says it is acceptable to give it to certain high-risk patients with symptoms of coronavirus. It’s the same treatment President Donald Trump took when he contracted the virus.
Regeneron says it will have doses for 80,000 patients this month and 500,000 by the end of January.
Drugs like this can’t arrive quickly enough for hospitals, which have seen a steady rise in the number of COVID-19 patients. Dr Ernest Wang, chief of emergency medicine at North Shore University Health System, oversees five hospitals, including Evanston and Highland Park. He says things will get worse before they get better and hospitals are already in crisis.
Wang says the numbers are now much higher than the spring numbers. Cases continue to grow and he expects this trend to continue. He is worried about what this might mean not only for his hospital, but also for the healthcare system as a whole.
“I am very worried,” he says. “The entire health system is worried. Patients are coming in more frequently and sicker, and it’s not slowing down. We just have to try to manage the patients. Sometimes we don’t have enough staff to fill the beds we have, ”Wang said.
Illinois currently reports that more than 6,100 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 and nearly 600 on ventilators. This number has increased significantly from just two weeks ago.
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