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San Juan Regional Medical Center announces new antibody treatment

Therapy is intended to keep COVID-19 patients out of hospital
San Juan Regional Medical Center nurse Tannah Reynolds prepares to administer a new antibody treatment the medical center offers to help keep COVID-19 patients from progressing to hospitalization.

FARMINGTON – San Juan Regional Medical Center announced last week that it is now offering monoclonal antibody infusions designed to help reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations.

When administered to patients with mild to moderate symptoms who are not hospitalized, the therapies Bamlanivimab, Casirivimab and Imdevimab could help keep patients out of the hospital.

While there is “limited information known about the safety and effectiveness of using these therapies to treat people with COVID-19,” in Bamlanivimab trials fewer than 2% of patients who received the therapy ended up going to the hospital while more than 6% who received the placebo ended up in the hospital, according to a news release sent by Laura Werbner, spokeswoman for San Juan Regional Medical Center.

Meanwhile, of those who received Casirivimab and Imdevimab, only 3% ended up in the emergency room or hospitalized compared with 9% who received the placebo.

The infusions are offered to qualifying patients who have experienced symptoms within 10 days, do not need hospitalization or oxygen, are 18 years old or older, and have a risk factor that would cause them to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Some of the risk factors listed include body mass index greater than 35, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, immunosuppressive disease or receiving immunosuppressive therapy, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory diseases.

“Infusions are given intravenously and take one hour to administer,” according to the hospital’s announcement. “The side effects of getting any medicine by vein may include brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling and possible infection at the infusion site. Since these are investigational therapies still being studied, it is possible not all of the risks are known at this time.”

To receive transfusions, patients can be referred from an emergency room, urgent care or their primary physician.

For more information, visit www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov.


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