Hospital Administers Drug to Prevent COVID Hospitalizations
November 24, 2020
Community Hospital administered its first doses of Bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody drug last week. The drug recently received emergency use authorization from the FDA in the treatment of COVID-19.
Community Hospital received a supply of the drug on November 18 and has already treated several patients. Pronounced BAM-la-NIH-vih-mab, the drug is currently being allocated by the federal government. Community Hospital is one of 48 hospitals in Nebraska that was provided allocations.
“Our staff put together a process to accommodate patients receiving Bamlanivimab,” said Molly, Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. “We set up an outpatient area specifically for this medication to be given with safety measures put into place. We treated three patients successfully last week and provided three infusions on Monday. It is exciting to be a part of administering this revolutionary new medication,” she said.
“This drug offers us a very exciting treatment option for COVID-19,” said Anthony Rodewald Community Hospital Director of Pharmacy. “Now we have a very promising treatment for patients early in their diagnoses versus existing treatment options aimed at helping patients recover after they have already progressed to severe disease resulting in hospitalization.” He went on to say, “Preliminary data from the ongoing Blaze-1 trial has shown that when this antibody is given early in the course of the disease, patients experienced fewer symptoms and decreased hospitalizations. In certain high-risk patients, it may even reduce hospitalizations by as much as 70 percent, which would be a game-changer.”
The doses allocated to Community Hospital are limited. In addition to limited supplies, patients must meet certain criteria to be eligible to receive the drug. Doses allocated for Community Hospital are for outpatients who are ages 12 and older and have a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The patient must not need hospitalization or oxygen due to COVID-19, but be at high risk for hospitalization. Patients must contact their primary care provider, who will make the referral for the drug.