Over 2,500 hospitals have received the first wave of new COVID-19 drugs that are made to keep mild to moderate patients out of the hospital. Although, it is not yet clear if the medicine will help in the demand for hospital beds.
Emergency authorization has been granted by the Food and Drug Administration two monoclonal antibody formulations – bamlanivimab, produced by Eli Lilly, and a two-antibody combination developed by Regeneron.
“Like everything in today’s world during the pandemic, our biggest challenges are around staffing,” says Dr. Peter Newcomer, chief clinical officer at University of Wisconsin Health in Madison.
These drugs must be infused intravenously, a process that could take two or more hours, instead of a pill or a shot. It aims to prevent coronavirus from invading cells in patients bodies.
Dr. Newcomer also stated that the hospital is giving the drugs after-hours to prevent COVID-19 patients crossing paths with other high-risk patients. Even with hospitals struggling with the rising COVID cases, the hospital put out an extra plea for nurses to stay after hours and take on, yet another, shift.
If everyone who qualifies for this treatment asks for it, including people over 65 and those with underlying conditions such as obesity, kidney disease and immunodeficiency, the hospital run out of drugs very quickly. So, UW Health set up a system to identify people who would benefit the most. Officials will randomly pick from that pool of applicants if there isn’t enough medicine to go around.
Written by: Ady Baddley