Jackson, Tennessee (November 30, 2020) – West Tennessee Healthcare is excited to announce that on Monday, November 23, two area hospitals began treating COVID-19 patients with an investigational antibody treatment called bamlanivimab, which has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. North Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, and Dyersburg Hospital in Dyersburg, Tennessee are both prepared to administer the drug by intravenous (IV) infusion for patients who qualify and are prescribed the treatment by a healthcare provider.
Bamlanivimab is a treatment option for people with COVID-19 who:
- Have had mild to moderate symptoms for 10 days or less
- Are at high risk to get very sick from COVID-19
- This drug is not for people who are already in the hospital because of their COVID-19 symptoms
For adults, bamlanivimab may be an option for patients who are:
- Are age 65 or older
- Have obesity, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher
- Have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or a condition that weakens the immune system
- Take medication that weakens the immune system
- Are age 55 or older and have heart disease, high blood pressure, or a long-term lung disease
For pediatric patients age 12-17, bamlanivimab may be an option for patients who:
- Are age 12 or older
- Weigh 88 pounds or more
- Have obesity, with a BMI higher than 85 percent of patients your same age or gender
- Have heart disease, sickle cell disease, or a long-term lung disease
- Have a developmental condition, like cerebral palsy
- Regularly use medical technology, like a ventilator or feeding tube
Bamlanivimab contains man-made antibodies that are similar to the antibodies of patients who recovered from COVID-19. Scientists think that these antibodies may help limit the amount of virus in the body. This could give the body more time to learn how to make its own antibodies. Bamlanivimab does not have any COVID-19 virus in it.
In a clinical trial, scientists found that bamlanivimab may limit the amount of virus in the body for people with COVID-19 who take the drug within 10 days of symptoms starting. They may also be less
likely to need to go to the hospital.
West Tennessee Healthcare encourages COVID-19 patients to discuss this with a healthcare provider to determine if it is the best treatment option.