New treatment for high risk COVID-19 patients available in Galesburg

GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) – Doctors in Galesburg are hopeful a new treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients will keep more people out of the hospital.

OSF Healthcare is offering the drug, Bamlanivimab, or BAM, for high-risk adult and pediatric COVID-19 positive patients.

“BAM is an antibody that is grown in a laboratory, and it’s directed at one of the proteins in the COVID-19 virus, and the spike protein is what allows it to bind to the H2 receptor in the body,” said Dr. Brian Curtis of OSF Healthcare in Galesburg.

The drug received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. Adults and children must fit certain high risk criteria to receive it.

“If these high-risk people received COVID-19, then they would have a high risk of being admitted to the hospital,” Curtis said. “So that is what this Emergency Use Authorization is all about, to prevent hospitalizations in these populations.”

As numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to grow, doctors at OSF say they are hopeful the treatment will help with COVID and those without.

“Other diseases aren’t going away because COVID is here. So people still need treatment for other illnesses. People still need surgeries,” Dr. Mark Meeker, of OSF, said.

“They still need procedures. They need screenings. They get sick with other diseases. So we need capacity to take care of them. We can’t afford for our hospitals to totally fill up with COVID because then we can’t take care of other people. So I am really, really hopeful that this antibody indeed lowers the progression of disease in this high-risk population so we can keep our hospitals out of full capacity,” says Dr. Mark Meeker with OSF.

Qualifying patients for BAM 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 35Chronic kidney diseaseDiabetesImmunosuppressive diseaseImmunosuppressive treatment

Patients 55 and older with heart disease, lung disease, or 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 ageSickle cell diseaseCardiovascular diseaseNeurodevelopmental diseaseUse of a medical dependent device

BAM is currently available at the locations below.

· OSF Medical Group – Primary Care in Washington, IL

· OSF PromptCare at OSF Center for Health in Bloomington

· Danville Polyclinic

· Urbana Medical Office Building

· Pontiac

· OSF Galesburg Clinic

· OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center-Medical Office Building Alton, IL

· OSF Medical Group – Primary Care in Rockford

· Family Medicine – Escanaba

· Ottawa

· OSF Medical Group – Primary Care in Burbank

If you are COVID-19 positive and want to know if BAM is available to you, contact your primary care physician.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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