Passavant Offering New Treatment for COVID Patients

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 21, 2021 at 11:38am

A new treatment offered at Passavant Area Hospital is helping patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Memorial Health System has been seeing recent success with a new therapy for COVID patients. The therapy consists of a monoclonal antibody treatment, which is an infusion therapy called bamlanivimab or known as a bam infusion.

Health System officials say the bam infusion is offered to help patients who have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. During infusion therapy, medication is administered to patients through an IV.

According to the hospital system’s announcement this morning, Bill and Kim Mitchell of Versailles in Brown County received the infusion therapy from Passavant, after their middle-school-aged son woke up with a headache and later tested positive for COVID-19. Bill and Kim also got tested and were positive as well.

Both Mitchells’ were running a low-grade fever that wasn’t going away, and they were exhausted. Bill Mitchell lost his sense of smell. However, they thought it was something that would pass.

The Mitchells’ reported that after receiving the infusion therapy, their fever was gone within eight to 10 hours. And a day or two later, they were back to full health.

Dr. Anna Richie, medical director for Memorial Physician Services’ ExpressCare says the therapy is ideal for anyone with mild or moderate symptoms and is especially beneficial for individuals who are high-risk secondary to a medical condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, lung disease, or are over 65 without a health condition.

More than 365 patients have received the infusion therapy across the Memorial Health System. Richie says “it’s not a cure, but it does appear to slow progression and worsening of the disease.”

The treatment is available by referral from a physician or for patients of the respiratory clinic. Memorial Health System officials say rapid testing availability has increased the opportunity to use the treatment locally. Richie says the outcomes have been positive with no serious adverse reactions,

She says “For the best outcome, this treatment needs to be given soon to prevent disease progression, but it is time-sensitive”. “It’s important to be tested early if you have symptoms of COVID-19 in order to have access to treatments and prevent hospitalization.”

The infusion therapy being offered at Passavant is also available on an outpatient basis at Memorial’s South Sixth Street location in Springfield, and the ExpressCare on North Water Street in Decatur.