University of Louisville Health announced the rolling out of a potentially game-changing new treatment in the fight against COVID-19.
The treatment, Bamlanivima, is a monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19. It is a single dose infusion specifically targeted toward early disease treatment in select high-risk patients.
UofL Health says they have a little over 140 doses of this antibody treatment and it will only be used for high-risk patients at this time.
“We’re using this medication to very specifically minimize the number of hospitalizations,” UofL Health’s Chief Medical, Dr. Jason Smith said.
Smith says the drug is meant for high risk patients in the early stages of the infection. The thought is getting them treated faster which can help them avoid hospitalization all together.
The drug, dubbed “Bam Land” by doctors is essentially a synthetic lab produced antibody put into your body to help fight off the infection.
“It keeps you from having some of those severe symptoms to the virus by providing you with artificial immunity so to speak,” Smith said.
The drug is only at limited locations for now hoping to expand out to others by the end of the week.
Administered specifically at outpatient facilities, it doesn’t come without any side effects Dr. Smith warns.
“An allergic reaction is by far the most severe problem you have and that’s not just for this medication,” explained Smith. “Its anytime you have an antibody you risk having an allergic reaction with the body.”
UofL is working with its staff and other doctors around the county to identify those high risk patients and get them the treatment right away.
Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and UofL Health Medical Center East are all part of this initial treatment rollout while other locations are still waiting to see if they make the cut for this treatment.
The treatment will be available for patients starting tomorrow.