Monoclonal Antibody Therapy to Treat COVID-19 Available at ER at Blue Diamond

Monday, July 26, 2021
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy to Treat COVID-19 Available at ER at Blue Diamond

COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (MAb) therapy drugs authorized by the FDA for emergency use (EUA) are available as an intravenous therapy at the ER at Blue Diamond, an extension of Spring Valley Hospital, located at 9217 S. Cimarron Road (cross street Blue Diamond).

Specific criteria must be met for all available anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and combinations for the treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults and children 12 and older and weighing 40kg or more, who are at a high risk for progressing to more severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

Criteria for Receiving Therapy

According to the FDA EUA, individuals must meet at least one of the following criteria to qualify for MAb therapy:**

  • Age 65 or older
  • Body mass index (BMI) ≥35
  • Have diabetes mellitus
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have an immunocompromising condition
  • Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • Age 55 or older and have:
    • Cardiovascular disease, or hypertension, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or another chronic respiratory disease

Treatment is also available for those between the ages of 12 to 17 if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • BMI ≥85th percentile for their age and gender based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts
  • Have sickle cell disease
  • Have congenital or acquired heart disease
  • Have a neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., cerebral palsy)
  • Have a medical-related technological dependence that is not related to COVID-19 (e.g., tracheostomy, gastrostomy, positive pressure ventilation)
  • Have asthma or a reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control

Potential recipients must:

  • Have and show a documented positive COVID-19 test that can be scanned or included in the medical chart
  • Have a high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19
  • Not require any additional interventions, such as oxygen therapy or hospitalization
  • Meet certain high-risk criteria** to qualify for the treatment

Area residents cannot come in and request the treatment without meeting the criteria.

How to Receive Therapy

Those who meet the criteria can arrive as an ER visit for treatment, or work with their primary care physician to schedule the treatment as an outpatient procedure at the ER at Blue Diamond. Physicians must be on staff at any Valley Health System hospital and submit the necessary physician orders through the pharmacy at Spring Valley Hospital for the procedure to be scheduled.

“This is a safe infusion of antibodies that will directly attack the virus before your body has fully made its own antibodies,” explained Patrick Olivieri, MD, Medical Director of the ER at Blue Diamond. “The goal of this therapy is to help temper symptoms, prevent hospitalizations and reduce mortality and morbidity.”

The therapy takes approximately one hour to infuse, followed by monitoring for any side effects for another hour.

“We want to be as flexible as possible to meet the patients’ needs,” explained Dr. Olivieri. “We began offering this in late November after it received emergency use authorization. This MAb therapy helps reduce patients’ viral loads, the severity of symptoms and, hopefully, hospitalizations. It’s a painless, easy two hours and the side effects are typically limited to a rash or itchiness, which is what we are monitoring.”