As the pandemic has continued, treating the virus has changed. There are many ways we can treat COVID-19, depending on the severity of the person's condition. Outpatient, we offer COVID Monoclonal Antibodies (see below). We also use remdesivir, steroids, and other medications, called immunomodulators in some patients admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY
Beebe Healthcare was proud to be the first hospital in Delaware to implement monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-infected people at high-risk for complications. Those include patients with certain medical conditions, as well as those who are 65 years of age or older.
Treating with monoclonal antibodies may help shorten the amount of time you are sick from COVID-19 or decrease your chance of needing to be hospitalized because of COVID-19. It is not a cure for COVID-19, but it is another tool that may help prevent severe illness and death. Patients receive one dose of this treatment through an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is done during an appointment. After the infusion, the patient is monitored for at least an hour before returning home.
Monoclonal antibodies attach themselves to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once attached, the virus can no longer able to attach itself to human cells, hopefully stopping the virus from infecting other cells and preventing progression of the disease.
To be as effective as possible, the antibody treatment should be given early and must be given within the first 10 days of illness. It is important for patients to work closely with their providers to see if they are eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment. As soon as a provider determines that the patient might be a candidate for this treatment– even if the patient is only experiencing mild symptoms at first, the provider’s office can initiate the steps to get scheduled.
With the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the emergence of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of concern, some monoclonal antibodies are no longer recommended for use. Current logistical and supply constraints make it impossible to offer the available therapy to all eligible patients, so we are following guidance from the NIH on which individuals might receive the greatest benefit from anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.
This investigational treatment is not authorized for use in patients:
- who are hospitalized due to COVID-19; or
- who need oxygen therapy due to COVID-19; or
- who need increased oxygen due to COVID-19 or who are on chronic oxygen therapy due to a non-COVID-19 health problem.
If you are a provider or patient and need help scheduling this treatment, please call 302-645-3200 for assistance.