Mercy to begin offering experimental treatment to certain COVID-19 patients

Mercy hospital

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across Oklahoma, a local hospital system is working to treat patients before they end up in the hospital.

On Wednesday, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 503,552 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020.

That’s an increase of 2,199 cases since Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Now, Mercy is offering Regen-COV for outpatients with COVID-19 that aims to aid in their recovery and prevent hospitalization.

Officials say the experimental treatment is approved for emergency use by the FDA and combines two antibodies to help a patient’s immune system fight the infection.

“This new antibody infusion has proven to be beneficial for COVID-19 patients at high risk of poor outcomes if given early in the disease process,” said Dr. John Harkess, infectious disease physician at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.

Patients must be referred for the Regen-COV infusion by their primary care provider after a positive COVID-19 test.

They must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have immunosuppressive disease
  • Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • Are older than 65

A patient may qualify for the treatment if they are older than 55 and has the following:

  • cardiovascular disease, or
  • hypertension, or
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease.

A patient may also qualify for the treatment if they are 12 to 17 and have:

  • BMI greater than the 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts
  • sickle cell disease, or
  • congenital or acquired heart disease, or
  • neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, cerebral palsy, or
  • a medical-related technological dependence, for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19), or
  • asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.

If you think you might be a candidate for this treatment, you are urged to reach out to your physician to inquire about your eligibility and request a referral.

For questions about the Regen-COV infusion at Mercy, call 405-936-5044.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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