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COVID-positive patients receive experimental therapy at AACH

The hospital is administering the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab, which studies have found to decrease the severity of symptoms.

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In late December, Asante Ashland Community Hospital’s Infusion Clinic treated its first patient for COVID-19 — and became among the first COVID monoclonal antibody infusion clinics in Oregon.

Located in the COVID unit within the Medical Surgical Unit, the clinic administers IV monoclonal antibody infusions under the FDA’s emergency use authorization for patients who meet strict criteria.

The first patients were successfully treated with the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab. This experimental therapy is thought to lessen the severity of symptoms and prevent hospitalization. Asante is following a modified version of the FDA criteria for treatment.

AACH will continue to ramp up services following this initial rollout as procedures and workflows are being refined. Currently, the clinic is staffed with three infusion nurses and supervised by a hospitalist. Patients receive a one-hour treatment and remain on-site for an additional hour of observation. The restricted COVID ward maintains the highest safety standards to protect our patients and staff.

Infusion services are expected to become available to patients of Asante primary care providers and eventually to all primary care providers within Jackson and Josephine counties.

Kristi Blackhurst, vice president of Operations for Asante Ashland and Asante Rogue Regional, oversees the program. Steve Archer, manager of Infusion Therapy at ARRMC, oversees the clinic’s daily operations.

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