Spectrum Health Lakeland offers new COVID treatment

NOW: Spectrum Health Lakeland offers new COVID treatment

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich.--- Spectrum Health Lakeland is offering a new treatment for COVID patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The treatment is an outpatient procedure called Bamlanivimab. 

"It’s a monoclonal antibody and the goal of the treatment is to prevent someone who does have COVID from getting more sick and ending up needing go to the hospital," said Jason Lovero, Pharmacy Director, of Spectrum Health Lakeland.

The treatment is administered through an IV and gets patients in and out of the hospital in only a couple of hours and keeps hospitals from having to use extra ICU beds due to COVID.

"It takes about an hour and then we monitor the patient for an hour afterward and once they’re completed with the infusion we escort them back out of the building," said Dr. Barbara Schmidtman, Director of Oncology Service for Spectrum Health Lakeland.

Officials at Spectrum Health say the procedure doesn't prevent COVID for people who do not have the virus already.

"It’s not preventative," said Lovero. "If someone does test positive for COVID then they would qualify for this treatment which would help them from getting worse."

Because the treatment is scare, only patients with more severe symptoms will be eligible to receive it first.

"In our early phase of the roll out we’re looking at patients who are presenting to our emergency department and pretty soon we will also be pushing this treatment out to our primary care and ambulatory providers," said Lovero. 

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