Tennova Healthcare – Cleveland had six national guardsmen on Wednesday to assist administration of monoclonal antibody infusion therapy located in their facility in a safe, secure area that is separate from general areas.
“We are very excited to have the Tennessee National Guard here five days a week to assist in such an important initiative for our community,” said JT Barnhart, CEO Tennova Healthcare – Cleveland. “With the National Guard’s support we can go from providing 24 infusions a day to 64 infusions a day and return our clinical staff to delivering inpatient and emergency room medical care. Administration of monoclonal antibody treatment is a critical tool to help reduce the number of people with COVD-19 who require hospitalization.”
For certain individuals recently diagnosed with COVID-19, monoclonal antibody therapy may help prevent hospitalization or worsening symptoms. The infusion consists of man-made antibodies that mirror the antibodies of patients that recovered from the COVID-19 virus. Research is showing that this therapy may limit the amount of the virus in the body, helping symptoms improve sooner.
“Monoclonal antibody treatments have been shown to significantly reduce the risk for hospitalization and mortality within 28 days among outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection, and the benefit is stronger in those over 65 years of age," said Asma Khatri, MD Tennova Infectious Disease – Cleveland. “While this is a good option after being diagnosed with COVID-19, currently the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection and severe COVID-19 related illness is to receive the vaccine.”
Monoclonal antibody therapy is approved for certain patients who:
• Have positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing;
• Are experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms; and
• Are at high-risk for COVID-19 symptoms progressing to severe levels.
• Are not fully vaccinated; or
• Not expected to mount an adequate immune response to complete SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (example, individuals with immunocompromising conditions); and
• Have been exposed to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 consistent with close contact criteria per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); or
• Who are at high risk of exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 because of occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in other individuals in the same institutional setting (example, nursing homes or prisons).
Monoclonal antibody therapies cannot be provided to individuals who are already in the hospital because of their COVID-19 symptoms, to anyone who requires oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, or those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19 related comorbidity.
High risk is defined as patients who meet at least one of the following criteria in addition to meeting the previous criteria:
• Are 65 years of age or older;
• Have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher or 12 to 17 years of age with a BMI
greater than or equal to the 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts;
• Are currently pregnant;
• Have diabetes, chronic kidney disease or an immunosuppressive disease;
• Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment;
• Have cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease) or hypertension (high blood pressure);
• Have chronic lung disease (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma [moderate to severe], interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension);
• Have sickle cell disease;
• Have neurodevelopmental disorders (for example, cerebral palsy) or other conditions that confer medical complexity (for example, genetic or metabolic syndromes and severe congenital abnormalities); or
• Have a medical-related technological dependence (for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy or positive pressure ventilation [not related to COVID-19]).
"Despite the increase of COVID-19 cases in Cleveland, Tennova Healthcare remains prepared for all patients who need hospital care, COVID-19 related or otherwise," officials said. "The hospital has adequate personal protective equipment, medications and supplies at this time. If you are sick or feel ill or believe you a medical emergency, visit an Emergency Department for a medical screening examination.
"Asymptomatic individuals who want a COVID-19 test for return to work or school or possible exposure to COVID-19 are asked to visit Tennova Walk-In Clinic North on Paul Huff or their primary care physician’s office, an urgent care or the local health department. This will allow the ER team to remain focused on addressing medical emergencies and treatment.
"The community is encouraged to follow CDC-recommended masking and social distancing measures to protect themselves, their friends and their family from the pandemic. Most importantly, get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination remains the best strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community."
To learn more about monoclonal antibody therapy and how Tennova Healthcare – Cleveland is taking measures to provide COVID-safe care, visit https://www.tennovacleveland.com/covid-19.
For more information on the Tennova Walk-In Clinic – Paul Huff go to Tennovamedicalgroup.com.