Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Weston hospital is now offering a new treatment option to patients with COVID-19. The monoclonal antibody treatment, Bamlanivimab is now available to patients with pre-existing health conditions who are most at risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19. The treatment was approved by Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA in November 2020. A second therapy, using a cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab will be offered in the coming weeks.
The two FDA approved monoclonal antibody treatments work to neutralize the COVID-19 virus in the body and are given to non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients receive the treatment in the outpatient setting via an infusion and return home after being monitored for one hour.
“We are pleased to be able to offer these therapies to patients to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 virus,” said Rodolfo J. Blandon, MD, MBA, President of Cleveland Clinic’s Weston hospital. “The COVID-19 vaccine is not yet widely available to the general public and as we learn more about this disease, we are encouraged and hopeful that new treatment options will reduce the impact of this disease on our community.”
Studies have shown that monoclonal antibodies reduce emergency room and physician visits as well as overall hospitalization. In order to receive the treatment, patients must have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis within 10 days. In addition, patients are pre-screened to ensure they meet several criteria which may include:
• Patients must be 65 years of age or older
• Patients must have a body mass index of 35 or greater
• Patients must have stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease
• Patients must be diabetic
• Other high risk medical conditions
Patients who are 55 years old can be considered for the treatment if they meet the any of the following criteria:
• Patients must have cardiovascular disease’
• Patients must have hypertension
• Patients must have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or other chronic respiratory disease and not on new oxygen therapy or increased oxygen from baseline, not in the hospital and have a COVID-19 positive result reviewed/documented if from an outside lab
Patients who have received a positive COVID-19 test within 10 days who are interested in the monoclonal antibody treatment must receive a referral from their physician prior to contacting Cleveland Clinic Infectious Disease for scheduling.
Patients who already have an established physician at Cleveland Clinic can contact their doctor’s office directly. If their physician determines that criteria for monoclonal antibody therapy are met, the physician will refer the patient to the Department of Infectious Diseases for review and scheduling.
Physicians in the community can refer patients to Cleveland Clinic’s Weston hospital for the monoclonal antibody treatment by providing a referral including the patient’s medical history and a copy of the positive COVID-19 PCR test result (please note COVID 19 antigen testing is not accepted). Referring physicians are asked to call 954-659-5165 for further instructions on referring patients.
About Cleveland Clinic Weston
Cleveland Clinic Weston, part of Cleveland Clinic’s Florida region, is a nonprofit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. With locations in Weston, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Parkland, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and Palm Beach Gardens, Cleveland Clinic Weston has more than 250 physicians with expertise in 55 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art hospital. Cleveland Clinic’s Florida region now includes Cleveland Clinic Indian River and Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and has hospitals and outpatient centers in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties. The Florida region is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit www.clevelandclinicflorida.org.