FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – San Juan Regional Medical Center is now offering monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-positive patients who meet specific criteria. The hospital states that the monoclonal antibodies may block the virus that causes COVID-19 from attaching to human cells which makes it harder for the virus to reproduce and become harmful.
Additionally, SJRMC states that the antibodies may neutralize a virus and can assist in the reduction of COVID-19 hospitalizations which is of extreme importance due to the strain they have been putting on local hospitals. In a press release from SJRMC, the hospital reports that the treatment is offered to patients ages 12 and up who are referred to the Monoclonal Antibody Clinic.
Referrals will only be accepted through either a primary care provider, urgent care, or the emergency department. Time is a critical factor as treatment must start within 10 days of the onset of symptoms.
The hospital states that if you have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 and believe you may be a candidate, you are urged to contact your primary care provider to immediately seek a referral. Patients can’t self-refer due to treatment criteria.
The San Juan Regional Medical Center’s Monoclonal Antibody Therapy clinic is in the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Gym located in the main hospital. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and noon to 3:30 p.m.
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The hospital reports that they currently have 80 appointments weekly with slots filling up fast. In order to help as many patients as possible, SJRMC is working to expand its available appointments.
SJRMC reports criteria for monoclonal antibody treatment includes the following:
- Must be within 10 days of initial onset of symptoms
- Does not require hospitalization or new or increased oxygen requirements
- Must be high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms or the need for hospitalization
- Must weigh at least 40 kg or 88 lbs.
- Must have at least one of the following:
- BMI greater than or equal to 25
- Pregnant or recently pregnant
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunisuppressive disease or receiving immunosuppresive therapy
- Cardiovascular disease
- COPD and/or other chronic respiratory disease
- Patient is of a race or ethnicity that places them at a higher risk for progression to severe COVID-19
- Patients 65 and older don’t need to meet additional risk factors