One Brooklyn Health offers antibody treatment to reduce chance of hospitalization, death from COVID

Dr. Patrick T. Lee, chair of Medicine at One Brooklyn Health.
Courtesy Dr. Patrick Lee

One Brooklyn Health (OBH) is offering antibody treatment to help reduce the chance of hospitalization and death from the COVID-19 virus.

Dr. Patrick T. Lee, chair of Medicine at One Brooklyn Health — which encompasses Kingsbrook, Interfaith and Brookdale hospitals in Brooklyn — told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview on Monday, that Monocloponal Antibody Therapy is a “potentially life-saving treatment that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID for high-risk patients, ideally within the first few days after symptoms develop and before they get ill.

“It’s shown to be effective when given early,” said Dr. Lee, stating that the first evidence of the effectiveness of the treatment was in January, when a “definitive study” was done by the New England Journal of Medicine, “which shows it highly reduces death.

“It’s a synthetic antibody,” he added. “The vaccine helps to develop antibody.”

Dr. Lee said this therapy was available in Brookdale Emergency Room, and that not many people were getting it.

“After we became a system, we realized we can do it at Kingsbrook Emergency Room,” he said. “We did the work to create that opportunity.”

Dr. Lee said patients are very happy with antibody treatment, adding that “it’s a very popular treatment, and patient outcome is very good.

“Dozens of patients have been treated in this fashion,” he said. “If they didn’t get the infusion, some of those patients will get sicker.”

The chair of Medicine said Monoclonal Antibody Treatment is available to individuals who are confirmed COVID positive; high risk for progression to COVID; and symptomatic but not seriously ill, that is, not sick enough to be hospitalized or require increased oxygen support.

In addition, he said the treatment is available as a preventive treatment to individuals who are not fully vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID; or are fully vaccinated but have a weakened immune system from a disease or medications they are taking and are exposed to someone with COVID.

Dr. Lee said high risk categories include: 65 years or older; obesity (body mass index – BMI >25); pregnancy; diabetes, chronic heart, kidney or lung disease; weakened immune system from disease or medications; smoking (current or former); and active substance use.

“Kingsbrook is the place for this treatment,” Dr. Lee said. “It’s also offered at other hospitals. It’s important to emphasis that high risk is the most important things.

“One Brooklyn Health is here is provide to our community, and this (treatment) is really cutting edge.”

Dr. Lee, who was recently named as the first Chairman of Medicine for One Brooklyn Health, said he has dedicated his career to solving two problems: helping individuals and teams reach their fullest potential, and creating health systems that deliver the “safe, kind and timely care that patients deserve.”

He said he is honored to join OBH and aims to make a “direct and meaningful contribution to racial justice through better health for OBH’s patients and the communities it serves.”

As Chairman of Medicine at Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital, Dr. Lee led the Department of Medicine response to the highest COVID-19 patient volume among community hospitals in Massachusetts, resulting in over 2100 patients discharged alive with an overall mortality rate of 8.5 percent.

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