Manning Regional Healthcare Center
MRHC Now Offering the Monoclonal Antibody Therapy
Manning Regional Healthcare Center has been selected as a hospital to receive a limited allocation of Bamlanivimab, referenced by Governor Kim Reynolds in her recent public address on November 17th.
“The therapeutic is targeted for adults aged 65 and over or with certain medical conditions and children over the age of 12 who are immunocompromised,” said the Governor.
“Similar to other treatments that have been introduced for COVID-19, such as Remdesivir, the government is releasing a limited supply throughout the areas in greatest need until the therapy is widely available,” said Jen Morris, Pharmacist at MRHC. “We were notified last week we would receive five infusions this week and three infusions next week, and our plan to begin implementing the infusions will begin as early as tomorrow, November 19th.”
The MRHC protocol for distributing this treatment to patients was outlined by the playbook distributed by the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services and then customized based on availability and need using a risk assessment tool conducted by MRHC staff and providers.
“The goal for using this therapy is to keep people from being hospitalized,” said Morris.
At MRHC, if someone tests positive for COVID-19, a staff member will notify the patient of a positive test result and at that time will provide a basic risk assessment over the phone. If staff and providers feel that the patient may qualify for the therapy, they will then schedule a phone call or telehealth appointment with the provider to evaluate whether they truly qualify and are willing to receive the treatment.
Once a qualified patient has been identified, they will schedule an appointment to receive the one-hour infusion and must remain at the facility for at least one hour after the infusion for observation.
“We intend to hold the infusion clinics for this therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Respiratory Clinic but outside of the regular COVID-19 appointment times,” said Morris.
The state will continue to contact MRHC on a regular basis to notify them of additional therapies they will receive that week.
“We are very fortunate to receive some of the limited quantities of this treatment and offer it to our patients,” said Morris, “However, we must also remember this therapy is released on an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) which means the FDA has given temporary approval for its use during an emergency to treat life threatening diseases or conditions.”
MRHC points out that, often, benefits of the therapy outweigh the risks for patients, but it’s important to acknowledge that these have been approved in a different manner than most treatments.
“At MRHC, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much unease but as a team we are dedicated to providing the safest care possible to those we serve,” Morris said.