Antibody treatment available for COVID patients at North Hospital, Dyersburg Hospital
JACKSON, Tenn. — West Tennessee Healthcare announced Monday that COVID-positive patients can now receive a new antibody treatment at North Hospital in Jackson and at Dyersburg Hospital.
Chief Compliance and Communications Officer Amy Garner says the drug Bamlanivimab has received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
“This particular drug is an investigational treatment that the FDA has given us emergency use authorization and can administer it on an outpatient basis,” Garner said.
That means COVID-positive patients who are not hospitalized, but meet certain criteria, can receive the IV antibody treatment.
“The drug itself is made from man-made antibodies that are similar to the antibodies of patients that have recovered from COVID-19, so this drug can be given to non-hospitalized patients,” Garner said.
Garner says the drug is being administered in other states, but it is not for every COVID-19 patient. To receive the treatment, you have to meet certain qualifications.
“We are encouraging patients to talk with their provider to see if they might be a candidate for the treatment because not everybody is going to qualify,” Garner said. “There is specific qualification you have to meet to receive the drug.”
She also says the treatment is still being studied, but it has shown promise and may help decrease the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Bamlanivimab is an option for those patients with the following:
- mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days or less.
- are high-risk to get very sick from COVID-19.
The qualifications for adult COVID-19 patients are:
- age 65 or older.
- have obesity, with a body mass index of 35 or higher.
- have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or a condition that weakens the immune system.
- take medication that weakens the immune system.
- are 55 or older with heart disease, high blood pressure, or a long-term lung disease.
The qualifications for pediatric COVID-19 patients are:
- age 12 or older.
- weigh 88 pounds or more.
- have obesity, with a body mass index higher than 85 percent of patients of the same age or gender.
- have heart disease, sickle cell disease, or a long-term lung disease.
- have a developmental condition, like cerebral palsy.
- regularly use medical technology, like a ventilator or feeding tube.