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HMC’s Early COVID Treatment Program Shows Promise

November 12, 2020, 3:34 PM HST
* Updated November 12, 3:39 PM
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An early COVID-19 treatment program put in place at Hilo Medical Center has proven to be successful.

The initiative began in October after a massive outbreak at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home that left dozens of veterans dead.

“We were completely caught off guard with the outbreak at Yukio,” said Dr. Jon Martell, HMC’s Chief Medical Officer. “Looking at that situation, we thought maybe there was something we could do.”

As a result, Martell and his team came up with a plan to treat vulnerable patients diagnosed with the virus after exhibiting mild to no symptoms.

Since October, 11 Life Care Center residents were treated following the new program. They were admitted to HMC for five days for treatment then sent back to the facility to recover.

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Martell said patients did experience a lack of appetite but all have recovered.

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In the video above, Martell explains how the program came about, what patients have been candidates for it and what he hopes for the program in the future.

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