Holzer begins infusion therapy for COVID-19 patients


Staff Report



GALLIPOLIS — Holzer Health System is now offering specialty infusions for COVID-19 patients meeting specified criteria. These infusions are taking place in a dedicated treatment area at the Gallipolis campus.

According to a news release from Holzer, the newly assigned treatment area allows Holzer to provide infusion therapy to recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients that are at high risk for hospitalization. Patients will receive an infused therapy of a new monoclonal antibody, Bamlanivimab (BAM), that has received emergency use authorization through the US Food and Drug Administration.

“Providing newly approved infusion therapies allows Holzer to be proactive with COVID-19 treatment and potentially reduce hospitalizations in our community,” stated Lisa Detty, MSN, RN, executive vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer, Holzer Health System.

The news release further stated, “BAM is not intended for routine use in the treatment of COVID-19 and is not approved for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. BAM contains manufactured antibodies that are similar to the antibodies of recovered COVID-19 patients. These antibodies may help reduce the amount of COVID-19 virus in the body, which could give the body more time to make its own antibodies.”

Qualifying patients need to be at least 12 years old and weigh at least 88 pounds. Adult patients must be 65 or older or have another risk factor, including:

Body mass index (BMI) greater than 35;

Chronic kidney disease;

Diabetes;

Immunosuppressive disease;

Immunosuppressive treatment;

Patients 55 and older with heart disease, lung disease or who are undergoing immunosuppressive treatment also qualify for BAM.

The qualifications for pediatric COVID-19 patients over the age of 12 include the following risk factors:

Body mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile for age

Sickle cell disease;

Cardiovascular disease;

Neurodevelopmental disease

Use of a medical dependent device.

Currently, a Holzer provider must order the single-dose infusion, which requires approximately three hours for preparation, administration, and observation. Specialty infusion therapy should occur as soon as possible after a confirmed positive test, but no later than ten days. Patients who receive a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 are encouraged to ask their provider if they may be a candidate.

“We are extremely excited to offer this new treatment to our patients. As a reminder, we still encourage our communities to be diligent with masking, social distancing, and hand hygiene to prevent the spread of infection as well,” Dr. Mike Canady, chief executive officer, said.

For more information, visit www.holzer.org or call 1-855-446-5937.

Information provided by Holzer Health System.

Staff Report