AdventHealth Ocala Develops New COVID-19 Treatment That Leads to Better Survival Rates

(December 3, 2020) RESEARCH UPDATE: After a more comprehensive review of the study, additional data shows the ICAM protocol is not more effective than other protocols as a method of treatment for COVID-19. We remain committed to the current scientific literature as a foundation of our treatment plan for COVID-19 and being a trusted resource for our community.

Ocala, FL - For months, researchers around the world have worked to find fast and effective ways to treat and care for patients who have been hospitalized for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). AdventHealth Ocala announced a new groundbreaking clinical trial for a drug therapy developed by the hospital’s Director of Pharmacy and a team of physicians. The drug combination protocol, known as ICAM, uses readily available medications such as vitamins to boost the immune system, steroids to control inflammation, blood thinners to prevent blood clots and antibiotics to help fight infection.

“For 76 days our patients had zero transfers to the intensive care unit, zero mechanical ventilator placement and zero death with ICAM and ICAM-similar regimens. I was absolutely pleased to see our patients getting better faster and we were able to provide the guidance needed to save lives,” said Dr. Carlette Norwood-Williams, Director of Pharmacy, AdventHealth Ocala. “Our research shows the right medication can influence improvements in a COVID-19 patient's inflammatory marker response, contributing to survival of the virus, regardless of age or comorbidity if they can start the therapy as soon as they are diagnosed.”

In this pioneering research, AdventHealth Ocala has seen an unprecedented 96.4% success rate in patients who received only the ICAM protocol immediately after they were admitted. Additionally, the hospital has partnered with the Marion County Health Department and Heart of Florida Health Centers to provide the ICAM protocol as an outpatient treatment for 100 adults who test positive at those locations and consent to using the treatment.

“I am hopeful that what we’ve done can become a powerful ally in the hands of health care providers to combat this virus, and I am excited to see the expertise of our team of dedicated clinicians and researchers at AdventHealth Ocala be part of something that can help our community and beyond,” said Joe Johnson, President and CEO of AdventHealth Ocala.

The ICAM protocol provides researchers and health care professionals with access to an additional tool to provide treatment to fight COVID-19. The goal is to replicate the work of the clinical team at AdventHealth Ocala and potentially lower mortality rates in COVID-19 patients around the world.

“We’ve seen firsthand the impact this virus has on the people we care for each day,” said Dr. Ken Barrick, ER Medical Director, AdventHealth Ocala. “Grandparents haven’t held their grandchildren in months, patients too afraid to come to the ER are suffering and missing much needed care, and parents missed out on seeing their children walk across a stage for graduation. The impact of this disease goes without measure. People are afraid, and with good reason, for there has truly been no clear treatment protocol to prevent the progression of the disease, until now.”

About AdventHealth West Florida Division

The West Florida Division of AdventHealth has some of the nation’s brightest medical minds making lifesaving breakthroughs with surgical pioneers, scientists and researchers using leading edge technology and innovation to deliver our brand of whole-person care. Our network of care includes AdventHealth Carrollwood, AdventHealth Connerton, AdventHealth Dade City, AdventHealth Lake Placid, AdventHealth North Pinellas, AdventHealth Ocala, AdventHealth Sebring, AdventHealth Tampa, AdventHealth Wauchula, AdventHealth Wesley Chapel and AdventHealth Zephyrhills, as well as five freestanding offsite Emergency Rooms including AdventHealth Brandon ER, AdventHealth Central Pasco ER, AdventHealth Palm Harbor ER, AdventHealth TimberRidge ER, and AdventHealth Westchase ER. We are more than hospitals, as we have a robust system of care including specialty acute care, over 200 primary care and specialty employed physicians, Express Care at Walgreens clinics, urgent care centers, wound care, physical therapy, home care, mobile mammography and more. AdventHealth is a faith-based not-for-profit health care system with a mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ. AdventHealth has hundreds of care sites and nearly 50 hospitals across the United States. For more information about AdventHealth, visit AdventHealth.com, or Facebook.com/AdventHealth, and for West Florida Division, clickhere.