BLACKFOOT, ID – September 13, 2021 – With the surge of COVID-19 cases in East Idaho, a common theme has emerged: more people are getting more severe symptoms and the Delta variant is taking a toll on hospital resources not only locally, but nationwide. To do their best to keep people out of the hospital, Bingham Healthcare in Blackfoot has a one-of-a-kind treatment if someone tests positive for COVID-19. They are offering the monoclonal antibody treatment to do their best to help keep people out of the hospital, specifically to avoid over-crowding and putting a strain on healthcare resources.
“This infusion is specifically for vulnerable people within our population regardless of vaccination status (i.e., 12 and older, obese BMI 35 or greater, diabetes, CVD, CKD, immunosuppressed, sickle cell disease, asthma, etc.),” said Jeremy Johnson, RN who manages the IV therapy program at Bingham. “We are offering the monoclonal antibody treatment in the hopes that it will help decrease the number of hospitalizations going forward.”
Again, this is for people with more vulnerable immune systems with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 who are at risk of getting severe symptoms. Monoclonal antibody treatment uses antibodies that are developed in a lab, which recognize a specific marker in the virus. It’s similar to what your body would naturally make to fight infection. Patients are given four separate shots under the skin and watched for an hour before they’re sent home.
“The problem now is people are waiting too late to be tested, thinking they’ll be fine, and then their health deteriorates so quickly, which forces them to have to go to the hospital. If you’re in a vulnerable population, and find out sooner rather than later that you have COVID-19, the monoclonal antibody treatment has a better chance of working, thus potentially keeping you out of the hospital. We want to keep as many COVID 19 patients out of the hospital to help us spread our resources a little further.”
If someone has COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, exhaustion, headache, or sore throat (to name few), then please get tested for COVID-19 as early as possible. The public can get tested for COVID-19 at all four of Bingham Healthcare’s urgent cares in Ammon/Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Pocatello, and Shelley, or they can call their primary care provider and set up an appointment.
This infusion is not an alternative to getting vaccinated, and getting vaccinated is still highly recommended. Ask your doctor to see if monoclonal antibody infusion is right for you. Or, for additional information, please call Jeremy Johnson, RN at Bingham, at (208) 782-2876.
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