Some four weeks after introducing a treatment for the most vulnerable COVID patients, the news is good.
That treatment is Bamlanivimab and CRMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Taylor said some 500 CRMC patients have received it. Taylor said this drug can keep those most vulnerable to COVID out of the hospital with shortened and mitigated symptoms.
“We believe it’s helping, what is sad is we continue to have patients that are inside one of these criteria, that is they are qualified to receive it,” Taylor said. “They call, they schedule, they cancel. They think they’re doing better and one to two to three days later, they’re in our emergency room getting admitted and they’re in very poor condition at that time.”
Taylor said that patients who have been treated by Bamlanivimab are saying the treatment worked when they follow up with CRMC. He said high-risk people who test positive for COVID should contact their healthcare provider or visit Cookeville Regional Urgent Care to get a referral for treatment.
“We check every single patient to make sure they meet the criteria,” Taylor said. “An exclusion factor, if you’ve actually been in the hospital for COVID, that’s too late. This is pre-hospitalization treatment to try to keep you out and mitigate your symptoms.”
Taylor said this treatment has a 29 day followup, and time is still needed to see if treatment at CRMC matches study findings. He said CRMC still has a high inpatient census that saw a 37 percent drop, but rebounded back up.
“I look at all of our COVID data for all of our patients that get admitted every month,” Taylor said. “I know their age, their living circumstance before they got there. These are the high-risk people that do not do well, they need this medication.”
Taylor said the drug takes an hour to administer and an hour to monitor before a patient can be sent back home. Patients who can receive this treatment must be high-risk, with a confirmed positive test and be within 10 days of the onset of COVID symptoms.