Newman Regional Health, Stormont Vail Health announce plans for coronavirus treatment


EMPORIA/TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Two local hospitals announced Monday it will start using an antibody treatment for coronavirus patients.

Newman Regional Health said it will start using a monoclonal antibody treatment called bamlanivimab for non-hospitalized coronavirus patients with mild or moderate symptoms.

According to Newman Regional Health, bamlanivimab has been shown to reduce coronavirus-related hospitalizations or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment.

The treatment is approved for use in patients within 10 days of symptom onset and who are at high risk for progressing to severe coronavirus symptoms and/or hospitalization. It’s also approved for:

  • Patients 12 years of age and older, weighing at least 88 pounds.
  • Patients 65 years of age or older.
  • Patients who have certain chronic medical conditions.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our patients and the Lyon County and surrounding areas,” said Dr. Alana Longwell, Chief Medical Officer at Newman Regional Health. “This is another option in our tool belt as we continue to fight this pandemic and will hopefully allow more patients to avoid hospitalization.”

The hospital said its current supply is reserved for patients who are at increased risk for severe illness. It will start administering the treatment beginning Thursday in the Newman Regional Health Infusion Clinic. Bamlanivimab is covered by most insurances and won’t require a payment from the patients. For uninsured patients, the treatment is covered by the Health Resources & Services Administration Provider Relief Fund.

Stormont Vail Health also announced Monday it will give a coronavirus patient the monoclonal antibody therapy for the first time. The hospital said it has a limited supply of bamlanivimab and will only give it to outpatients meeting a specific age and health status criteria and at risk for progressing to severe coronavirus and/or hospitalization.

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