Dayton, Ohio – Kettering Health Network is now offering a new COVID-19 antibody treatment that can help reverse symptoms before they get worse.
The treatment, called Bamlanivimab, is administered through an IV and takes about an hour. The treatment is not intended for anyone who has already been hospitalized or is on oxygen. It’s recommended for people 12 years and older, and who are at risk for hospitalization, according to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
“While the safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy continues to be evaluated, bamlanivimab was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo,” the FDA said in a statement in early November.
The FDA granted emergency use authorization for the treatment Nov. 9 with the goal of preventing hospitalizations and even deaths.
Kettering Health says patients who are COVID-19 positive and are exhibiting symptoms like fever, chills and coughing could be eligible for the infusion. The patient must have a referral from a primary care physician or emergency room doctor.
“This is another tool in our arsenal against COVID-19. By using Bamlanivimab, we hope to help more patients avoid hospital stays,” says Jeffrey Weinstein, patient safety officer for Kettering Health Network. “We will continue to seek the latest advancements to ensure that the people of southwest Ohio have access to the best possible care.”
It’s similar to convalescent plasma treatment. The plasma treatment takes blood donated from patients who previously had COVID-19, filters out the red blood cells and then gives the remaining plasma with the antibodies to those trying to fight off the virus currently. Studies have shown the plasma helps patients recover faster and possibly prevent longterm effects, according to MayoClinic.
The FDA reported in previous studies and control groups that only 3% of those who had taken Bamlanivimad ended up being hospitalized compared to the 10% who had taken the placebo.
Kettering Health hopes implementing Bamlanivimad will help decrease the number of hospitalizations as bed capacity decreases.
In Ohio, more than 5,100 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday. The Ohio Hospital Association reported hospitalizations are up 15% from last week, 82% in the last three weeks, and 650% in the last two months.