As we take a moment to catch our breath after battling COVID for more than a year, our staff is grateful that the numbers in Texas continue to trend downward. We have continually learned throughout this year and expanded our prevention and treatment strategies to reflect that education.
We want to share with you some of what we have been doing.
We learned early in this fight that it was a whole lot easier to prevent COVID than it was going to be to treat COVID. Various high risk groups were identified: over age 50, smoker/vaper, BMI>30, heart disease, COPD, hypertension, and a few others. These risk factors greatly increase the chances for negative outcomes if one becomes ill with COVID. Therefore, we went to work on developing strategies that would increase patient immunity when exposed to COVID. Our hope was that even if patients did contract COVID, their immune systems would be more prepared and the symptoms would be less.
Our prevention strategy included prescriptive options such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, depending on patient’s current health situation. The strategy also included various supplements including Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Melatonin among others. In addition, we adopted a nebulizer protocol from over the counter items which enhanced the prevention if high risk or exposed. Our team hosted group visits and treated our own patient population with these preventative strategies. As of April 22, 2021, we had 431 patients on some variation of our prevention protocols. Only 10 patients (roughly 2%) on our prevention protocols have subsequently tested positive for COVID 19 while on prevention. We are thrilled with these outcomes but continue to monitor / tweak the strategy for continued success.
The reality was obvious for us –
We were not going to be able to get the word to all patients about prevention. Our team quickly developed a reputation for compassionate care as it related to the treatment of COVID illness patients. During this time, our team went above and beyond to take care of these patients.
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Our team provided varying levels of support for patients which included appropriate prescription alternatives (hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, antibiotics and inhaled steroids), supplements and IV nutritional support depending on the individual patient’s needs. As of April 22, 2021, our team had treated 568 patients who were COVID positive or presumed COVID positive. Ages of these patients ranged from 4 to 98. Nine of these patients (1.6%) ended up hospitalized due to their conditions. All nine had additional co-morbidities and sought treatment on the average at day 6 of the illness. In addition, none of these hospitalized patients were on any prevention protocols prior to their illness.
Success was greatly enhanced by those patients who sought treatment earlier in the illness cycle. In addition, this opened up opportunities to discuss the co-morbidities with patients in an effort to help them combat those and make healthier lifestyle choices going forward.
While the media would seem to represent that the use of some of our strategies is not proven, I think our patients have been grateful that our team was willing to do what we could to help them get well quicker and avoid hospital stays. We simply could not sit back and do nothing for our patients who were ill, and our numbers are proof enough for us that our prevention and treatment interventions made a difference.
We have now geared up to develop/enhance protocols for those patients who have already had COVID but continue to deal with the lasting effects (long-haulers). We know this may be our next challenge as we continue to promote prevention and early treatment to those not yet impacted.
Our staff worked seven days a week for many months treating patients all over the state of Texas. We are certainly grateful to have such a dedicated team of healthcare providers who go out of their way to take care of patients. We know the medical community will face some future unknown and our hope is that we will be here to help our patients navigate the troubled waters. We deeply appreciate the encouragement and support from our patient community and pray for robust health and resilience during the times ahead.