COVID clinic closes up shop due to decline in patients

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The COVID-19 Infusion Clinic at Presbyterian’s Kaseman Hospital closed up shop following the decline in patients.

“With COVID running rampant, we wanted to reach the maximum number of people safely and alleviate some of the load from the hospitals so the people most in need of ‘round the clock’ care can get it,” said Gabriela Sim, the clinic’s Assistant Nurse Manager.

The clinic offered eligible COVID-19 patients Monoclonal antibody cocktails through an IV since December 2020.

The outpatient clinic has freed up Presbyterian Hospital beds across the state.

About 1,500 patients were treated and more than 1,000 days of hospitalizations were avoided.

“I really think this was the most rewarding work any of us have done. We were able to help people in the frontline in the middle of the pandemic,” she said.

Sim said working at the clinic was a privilege, but it wasn’t easy.

“Sometimes it requires, you know, a lot of hand-holding and crying with the patients and hearing them. But by the time they left, we had some patients, by the fifth day of treatment, dancing on their way out,” said Sim.

When the state got closer to hitting the 60% vaccination goal, Sim didn’t’ see many people walking into the clinic. She said the usual 29 patients per day dwindled to one, or two patients.

“It’s reaffirming that people are getting vaccinated and being more careful. And the message has gotten out there,” she said.