Infectious disease doctors at UAB said Tuesday they’re still looking for COVID-19 patients to join a number of clinical trials.
Currently, UAB is offering both inpatient and outpatient trials ranging from vaccines to treatments aimed at lessening the effects of the virus.
Dr. Sonya Heath, a professor of medicine in UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases, said some of the outpatient trials could appeal to patients because they require only a single dose, four in-person visits and virtual check-ins.
One of the trials currently accepting patients involves convalescent plasma treatments, in which antibodies from recovered patients are injected into patients who have COVID or those who have come into close contact with the virus.
“We are really asking the question: If you give high concentrations of antibody, is that beneficial in decreasing the severity of the illness and decreasing the likelihood that somebody will be hospitalized?” Heath said.
Other studies have shown that patients do better if their bodies generate a quicker immune response to the virus.
“They have a shorter course of illness and their viral load is lower,” Heath said. “We know that generating an immune response is a good thing and decreases your symptoms and severity. Each of these studies … is looking at ways to transfer an immune response to you in some form or fashion.”
Dr. Turner Overton, from UAB’s outpatient COVID-19 clinic, said patients in clinical trials receive a more heightened level of clinical care.
“We’re gaining knowledge and we have expertise here at UAB,” Overton said. “But if people sit at home and wait until they’re really sick, in the second week of illness, you know, the complications are much higher.”
UAB is looking for COVID-19 patients with varying degrees of symptoms.
If you are interested, you can call 205-934-6777.
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