OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City is providing COVID-19 outpatients an experimental treatment designed to aid in recovery and prevent hospitalization.
The monoclonal antibody treatment bamlanivimab, commonly referred to as BAM, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November for emergency use.
“More than 100 patients have received BAM transfusion at Mercy and less than 6% still required hospitalization,” a Mercy news release states.
Mercy initially used the treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients after it became available. Patients were at first treated in the emergency department. Mercy now has a formal outpatient treatment center that specifically treats COVID-19 patients who need BAM, according to a Mercy news release.
Patients are referred for BAM treatment after testing positive for COVID-19 if they meet the following criteria:
- Body mass index greater than 35
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive disease
- Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
- Age 65 or older
- Age 55 or older AND diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, hypertension or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease.
Patients who receive the treatment must continue self-isolating and using infection control measures, which includes the following:
- Wearing a mask
- Social distancing
- Avoiding sharing of personal items
- Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces
- Frequent hand washing until they have been cleared by their physician.
Treatments are scheduled and coordinated directly with patients.
Patients scheduled to receive treatment arrive at the hospital, then call the outpatient BAM infusion center. A nurse escorts them to the infusion room, which is reserved for COVID-19 patients on the hospital’s first floor.
“The process takes about three hours, including paperwork and an observation period after the one-hour infusion,” the news release states
Reach out to your physician or call (405) 936-5044 if you think you eligible for the BAM treatment.