FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (news release) – Washington Regional has provided more than 620 monoclonal antibody treatments to COVID-positive patients since November, helping reduce hospitalizations due to serious illness.
Antibody treatment, which is delivered through an infusion, neutralizes the COVID-19 virus by preventing disease progression.
Before receiving monoclonal antibody treatment, eligible patients must have a positive COVID-19 test and be referred by a licensed health care provider.
“These drugs have been found to decrease the virus’s ability to progress, preventing the need for hospitalization,” said Dr. David Ratcliff, Chief Medical Officer at Washington Regional. “Patients who have a positive test result at one of Washington Regional’s testing locations will be contacted by our navigation team, assessed for eligibility to receive the treatment, and will be advised to consult with their health care provider to assess and arrange their infusion. Patients who do not have a primary care doctor will be referred to a Washington Regional provider to assist.”
Patients who receive a positive test result from other testing locations should call their health care provider and request a referral, or call Washington Regional at (479) 404-1010 for more information.
Providers may also refer patients to the Washington Regional Urgent Care in Fayetteville for evaluation and referral for monoclonal antibody infusion.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is most effective in the early stage of COVID-19 infection and is approved for COVID-positive patients who are 12 years of age or older, weigh at least 88 pounds, and are at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19. That includes patients age 65 and older and people with certain chronic health conditions. Patients using supplemental oxygen may receive the infusion if their oxygen supplementation requirements have not increased.
The treatment is not recommended for those who have experienced COVID-19 symptoms for more than 10 days, or whose illness requires hospitalization at the time they are able to receive the antibody infusion. The Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment in November.