ATLANTA - After three days in Walter Reed Medical Center, receiving an aggressive combination of therapies typically reserved for severely ill COVID-19 patients, President Donald Trump left the hospital on Marine One, heading back to the White House.
The president was given an experimental antibody treatment, the antiviral Remdesivir, and the steroid dexamethasone.
Earlier Monday afternoon, his physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters Mr. Trump had not had a fever in 72 hours and his oxygen levels were normal.
Still, Conley acknowledges, the president is not out of the woods when it comes to complications.
"We're in unchartered territory when it comes to a patient who has received the medications he has so early in his infection," Conley said.
Emory School of Medicine infectious disease physician Dr. Marybeth Sexton says the next few days will be critical for Trump, with the president's medical team carefully tracking his vital signs, especially his oxygen levels.
"We know that can drop fairly suddenly in people with COVID," Sexton explained. "For whatever reason, sometimes the person is not even aware that their oxygen level has dropped. I've had people talking to me very comfortably whose oxygen level is much too low."
Sexton treats COVID patients at Emory and says the virus, while different for everyone, typically follows a similar course in more severely ill patients.
They will be treated, start to feel better, and then about seven to 10 days into their infection can suddenly worsen, suffering a severe drop in oxygen and other complications, Sexton says.
Other concerns include blot clots and an overreaction of the body's immune system to the virus.
"Later in the disease, sometimes people's immune system actually goes into overdrive," she says. "You almost have too good of a response, and you can get massive inflammation that can attack your organs. So, they'll also watch his heart function, and his kidney function."
Sexton says Trump's seemingly fast improvement this early in his infection is encouraging.
"You want to make sure that it holds over the next couple of days, really in that five to seven days after symptoms started window," Dr. Sexton says. "If you clear that and you're continuing to get better, that's a very good sign."
Trump received a fourth dose of the antiviral Remdesivir before departing Walter Reed on Monday.
Tuesday, he is set to receive his fifth and final dose back home at the White House.
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