MercyOne offering new COVID-19 treatment for high-risk patients

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – MercyOne is offering a new treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients.

The new treatment is known as Bamlanivimab, and MercyOne has set up a clinic and is currently distributing the new treatment.

MercyOne opened their clinic November 21 and has since been seeing eligible patients for almost a week now. Those eligible for the treatment is someone who is at high-risk of developing complications due to COVID-19, which may be someone who is older, has heart disease, diabetic, undergoing chemotherapy, or is obese.

Dr. Larry Volz, the Chief Medical Officer at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center said the sooner the better it is for a patient to come in and get this treatment under their primary doctor’s orders.

“Today, you get sick and then tomorrow you get tested and then two days, you get your results, the doctor calls, ‘hey, I have a patient, 6’5”, and they qualify for this treatment,’ we get them in and hopefully get this treatment started,” said Volz.

The treatment is a manufactured anti-body infusion that directly targets the COVID-19 virus. Those who qualify will receive the treatment through an IV, which takes an hour. After getting the treatment, patients will have to remain at the clinic for another hour to be monitored for any allergic reactions. However, studies show this treatment has been very successful so far.

“The numbers were fairly impressive in this, so the study showed that patients who were in the high-risk group, they had 14 percent of those people who did not get the treatment were admitted to the hospital and those who did get the treatment, it went down to 4 percent,” said Volz.

The overall goal of the treatments is to help prevent high-risk patients from being hospitalized, helping alleviate the stress nurses and doctors are currently face fighting the virus.

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