In an effort to prevent COVID-19 hospital admissions, Emanuel Medical Center is now offering a cutting-edge monoclonal immunotherapy infusion. Bamlanivimab, or BAM, is approved for high-risk COVID-19 positive patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
The laboratory-made antibody mimics a naturally occurring one known to fight off the virus that causes COVID-19.
BAM is a monoclonal antibody, and antibodies are protein molecules the body makes to fight attackers throughout the body. This antibody is known to fight the COVID virus, is able to be reproduced in the lab, and is used to treat patients as though their bodies made the antibody themselves.
BAM is now being administered in EMC’s specially designated outpatient infusion site. Patients who qualify for BAM have been found to be at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness and might need hospitalization if untreated.
BAM is most effective when given early and needs to be administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms. BAM is not intended for routine use in the management of COVID-19 and is not approved for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Qualifying patients need to be at least 12-years-old and weigh 88 pounds. Adult patients must be 65 or older or have another risk factor, including: body mass index (BMI) greater than 35, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, immunosuppressive disease, or immunosuppressive treatment.
Patients 55 and older with heart disease, lung disease, or who are undergoing immunosuppressive treatment also qualify for BAM. The qualifications for pediatric COVID-19 patients over the age of 12 include: body mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile for age, sickle cell disease, cardiovascular disease, neurodevelopmental disease, or use of a medical-dependent device.
If you are COVID-19 positive and want to know if BAM is available to you, contact your primary care physician.