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San Juan Regional Medical Center lowers requirements for COVID-19 antibody treatment

Therapy opportunity will be available to more people
San Juan Regional Medical Center recently announced new antibody therapy transfusions designed to help keep COIVD-19 patients from progressing to hospitalization.

FARMINGTON – San Juan Regional Medical Center announced updates to the criteria to qualify for the monoclonal antibody therapy treatment for COVID-19 to expand access to patients who could benefit from the therapy.

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, 1.6% of patients who received the therapy ended up going to the hospital while 6.3% 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 take about an hour to administer, and patients can be referred to the treatment through the emergency department, urgent care or primary care physician.

Dr. Brad Greenberg with San Juan Regional Medical Center said the changes allow inclusion criteria for those younger than 55 years old.

“This is important to further reduce the risk of admission to the hospital for those with documented risk factors,” Greenberg said.

To qualify for the treatment, patients must be within 10 days of COVID-19 onset, do not require hospitalization and do not need new or increased oxygen levels.

For patients who want the treatment between the ages of 18 and 54, patients must also demonstrate one of the following: body mass index greater than or equal to 35, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and immunosuppressive disease or receiving immunosuppressive therapy.

Patients between the ages of 55 and 64 must also have one of the following: cardiovascular disease; hypertension; chronic respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; body mass index greater than or equal to 35; chronic kidney disease; diabetes and immunosuppressive disease; or receiving immunosuppressive therapy.

Any patients 65 and older do not need to meet any additional risk factors.

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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