Wound Care Center Brings Latest Medicine to Uvalde

Feb 16, 2015 /

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“To be able to offer big city medicine in a small town hospital means so much to me,” said Andrzej Stypko, M.D. Dr. Stypko’s comment came just after an antibiotic called Orbactiv was given on Uvalde Memorial Hospital Wound Care Center patient Gloria Iruegas. What makes this antibiotic and wound care treatment stand out compared to the countless other wounds Dr. Stypko and his team are a part of healing on a daily basis? This treatment is new. So new, in fact, that Gloria is only the 110th patient in the nation to receive it and the very first patient in all of south-central Texas. Orbactiv is an antibiotic infused into a patient intravenously (through an IV) to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) caused by certain susceptible bacteria.

The drug provides a safer and more efficient alternative to previous treatment options. In the past a patient with the same diagnosis required two and a half hour infusion, daily for anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks depending on the treatment plan. Along with the daily infusions, it was necessary to perform blood draws every 3 days, for the duration of treatment, to monitor the patient’s blood for potential toxic effects.

Orbactiv, on the other hand, is a one time, three hour infusion that blocks infection for a 21 day span. It comes with no concerns about harmful toxins to the patient.

“This really is just another example that destroys any stereotype that a person has limited access to first-class healthcare in a rural area,” said Stypko, M.D.

“In fact, it ends up that a patient is potentially better off because not only do they have access, but they also the opportunity to have a personal experience. We’re not a mill. We have the same urban modalities, actually better in this case, and each patient truly means something,” added the doctor.

Iruegas is pleased to be a part of the late-breaking treatment.

“I’m just so thankful. From my entrance into the hospital to my experience at the Wound Care Center, everyone has been so friendly and professional. They make it easier to be a patient,” Iruegas said of her experience.

Orbactiv was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) because it is an antibacterial or antifungal human drug intended to treat a serious or life-threatening infection. As part of its QIDP designation, Orbactiv was given priority review with the FDA, which provides an expedited review of the drug’s application. Orbactiv’s safety and efficacy were evaluated in two clinical trials with a total of 1,987 adults.

“The approval of several new antibacterial drugs [in 2014] demonstrates that we are making progress in increasing the availability of treatment options for patients and physicians,” said Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a press release by the FDA in August immediately following Orbactiv’s approval.