Brandywine Hospital to Offer Recently Approved COVID-19 Treatment

Brandywine HospitalPhoto: Tower Health

COATESVILLE, PA — Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health is fortunate to have received doses of the recently approved COVID-19 drug bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody to treat individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.

The drug, developed by Eli Lilly, was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for patients 12 years and older under “emergency use authorization.” This status allows new medications that have passed general safety tests and have preliminarily demonstrated effectiveness to advance to commercial distribution while Phase 3 studies are still ongoing. Brandywine Hospital began outpatient treatment for COVID-19 positive patients the week of February 9.

Hospital officials state bamlanivimab should be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and within 10 days of symptom onset in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older who are at high risk for progressing to a severe case of COVID-19 or hospitalization.

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Risk factors for these patients include:

  • Body mass index (BMI) greater than 35
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppressive disease
  • Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • Older than 65 years of age
  • Older than 55 years of age and have:
  • Cardiovascular disease, or
  • Hypertension, or
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of another chronic respiratory disease
  • Are 12 to 17 years of age and have:
  • BMI greater than 85th percentile for their age and gender-based on CDC growth charts, or
  • Sickle cell disease, or
  • Congenital or acquired heart disease, or
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as, cerebral palsy, or
  • A medical-related technological dependence, such as, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19), or
  • Asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.

The treatment, given as an infusion, will be administered in a recently converted unit on the ground floor of the hospital. This area was selected because patients will have access to a dedicated entrance that will take them directly to the unit, separating them from other patients.

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In a phase II double-blind randomized controlled trial of 465 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalizations of patients who received bamlanivimab were 70 percent lower than for patients who received a placebo.

Michael Coveney, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer at Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health said “We are excited that Brandywine Hospital will be able to provide this as another option to treat our patients while likely decreasing hospitalizations.”

The treatment is aimed at the COVID-19 “spike protein” (the mushroom-looking projection from the main body of the virus). Just as the antibodies made by an individual’s own immune system, this monoclonal antibody attaches to the virus, thereby both preventing the virus’ attachment to the patient’s cells, and “tagging” the virus for destruction by the patient’s own immune system.

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