TULSA, Okla. — A local couple recently diagnosed with COVID is benefiting from a new treatment facility just opened by the Muscogee Nation.
Donald Hogue and his wife both tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
“Extreme fatigue, a low-grade fever off and on," Hogue said. "Also, coughing. And just keeping the oxygen levels up.”
Monday, they came to Council Oak, Muscogee Nation’s new hospital in Tulsa, where they’ve opened a monoclonal antibody infusion center. The treatment is done through an IV and is designed to target coronavirus.
“It takes about 25 minutes for the infusion to run through," Hogue said. "And, of course, there’s a second bag of fluid that they run through afterward. And then they will watch you for an hour to make sure there are no adverse reactions.”
Council Oak can treat about 60 patients at the infusion center each day. Shawn Terry, Muscogee Nation Secretary of Health, said the infusion should be done within 10 days of getting COVID.
“We also know that the quicker you get the infusion, the more likely you are to not become sick enough to have to go to the hospital," Terry said.
Keeping people out of the hospital is the goal of the infusion center. They want to help alleviate the capacity strain on area hospitals.
“What we’re really hoping is that these patients will come in, they’ll get the infusion, they’ll be able to stay out of the hospital," Terry said. "And for those patients that really need the intensive care, it’ll free up some space for us to treat those patients.”
Donald said, after their treatment, he started to feel better. His fever is gone and his oxygen levels are up, now he’s just trying to get his strength back. His wife, who is a cancer survivor, had more severe symptoms but is slowly getting better.
“Tuesday morning we were seeing her strong enough to walk," Hogue said. "Now, we stayed beside her, but she was strong enough, like, to walk to the restroom and you can see a mark difference and it’s been a slow improvement ever since. I don’t think it would have happened like this without the infusion.”
Both Native and non-Native patients can receive the infusion at Council Oak. Doctors will typically refer patients; however, you can make an appointment yourself, too. You can call 918-233-9554 to schedule an appointment or learn more here.
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