There is a new treatment option available at Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) to aid COVID-19 patients who are considered to be at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and risk of hospitalization.
The drug Bamlanivimab has received emergency use authorization for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 disease in adults and pediatric patients.
To receive the drug a patient must be referred to the FCMH Surgery Center by a provider – this can be an established provider, a visit to an urgent care like the FCMH Same Day Care or by a provider in the emergency department.
The patient must also meet at least two of the following high risk criteria:
· Body mass index greater than 35
· Chronic kidney disease
· Over the age of 65
· Over the age of 55 and have either cardiovascular disease, hypertension or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
“The drug is administered via a one-time infusion. The process takes roughly two hours and is completed through the FCMH Surgery Center,” said FCMH Pharmacy Director Zach Camp. “The infusions we are using were created based off of the convalescent plasma that contains antibodies.”
Camp noted that since this is a newly-approved drug, there are not a lot studies available, and most are ongoing, but what he has seen to date show that the drug could assist in lowering the viral load.
Just as PPEs are put on allocation from vendors, Bamlanivimab is allocated to each state by the federal government on a weekly basis and is distributed proportionally based on confirmed hospitalizations and COVID-10 cases in each state.
According to Camp, the Ohio Department of Health is then responsible for allocating the drug to the individual care sites.
“Curbside lab testing, telehealth visits and other modifications have become the norm for us this year,” said FCMH CEO Mike Diener. “Our staff continues to provide the best possible care to all of our patients, and this is a great example of another service we are implementing to help the community at this unique time.”