Doctors at AdventHealth Ocala create new COVID-19 treatment

The physicians involved site a 96.4 percent survival rate in patients being treated for the virus with this new regimen.
The ICAM team (Left to Right) Dr. Stanley Mikowski, Dr. Ken Barrick, Dr. Carlette...
The ICAM team (Left to Right) Dr. Stanley Mikowski, Dr. Ken Barrick, Dr. Carlette Norwood-Williams, Dr. Narsing Rao(AdventHealth Ocala)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - People are searching for some relief from COVID-19, and it could start in north central Florida.

In Ocala, the doctors at AdventHealth, may have found an answer.

AdventHealth Ocala has created a new drug therapy regimen developed by the hospital’s Director of Pharmacy, Carlette Norwood-Williams.

They’re calling it ICAM. It’s a combination of vitamins, steroids, blood thinners and antibiotics.

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Posted by AdventHealth Ocala on Monday, September 21, 2020

"It works to defend the body from the most severe consequences of the Coronavirus infection,” Norwood-Williams said.

Norwood-Williams and a team of physicians at the hospital spent several weeks researching.

“Once a week for 30 minutes, we reviewed medications and the patients response to those medications through lab values called inflammatory markers,” she said.

Based on these inflammatory markers, doctor’s were able to see which patients improved with which medications they took, before they developed difficulty breathing.

They began developing this regimen in April and started using the specific combination in May.

And hospital officials said, this combination of drugs is leading to a higher survival rate.

“In June we saw consistent improvement that reflected 76 days where patients were admitted to the hospital because of their Coronavirus symptoms, required no transfer to critical care support, required no need for mechanical ventilation, and discharged safely, but it wasn’t until last week really when we were able to ask for data poll and saw that the number of patients that had been treated and discharged, people who received ICAM, over 100 people, had a 96.4 percent survival rate,” Norwood-Williams said.

ER Medical Director at AdventHealth Ocala, Ken Barrick said he has seen this regimen work first hand.

“To be able to have a protocol in place that will help to reduce the progression and prevent the progression of COVID-19, quite frankly again we’ve had people that have not hugged their grandchildren in six months. To be able to have that opportunity to have a protocol in place that will prevent the progression of that has been an amazing to be a part of,” he said.

He added, in working with the hospital’s more vulnerable and elderly population, found the survival rate to be even more impressive.

“There was up to a 30 percent increase of survivability between standard of care and the ICAM protocol when it came to that vulnerable population,” he said.

They are now transitioning to an outpatient regimen. They said they’ve been approved to conduct a study of 100 adults to determine if they can convert the injectable form of ICAM from the hospital into an oral dosage form so they can start treating COVID-19 at home, so there’s no need to make a trip to the hospital.

The hospital is also working with the Marion County Health Department and the Heart of Florida Health Center as part of this outpatient study.

The outpatient study will require a positive test result for either the Health Department or Heart of Florida. Norwood-Williams explained that those two testing sites will be able to refer patients to the hospital, giving the date of the COVID-19 test and their registration information for the study.

Once the patient consents for treatment and participation in the study, they will then be enrolled in the study and they’ll receive medication and lab work information.

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