In today’s world, many live in fear of the viral pandemic known as Covid-19. This awful virus has impacted millions of families and caused many deaths within the last 2 years. After this long journey, Wickenburg Community Hospital proudly offers a therapy that can help ease that fear. Offered at the hospital is a therapy called COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapy.
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy has three medication regimens. These are Casirivimab + Imdevimab (REGEN-COV), Bamlanivimab + Etesevimab, and Sotrovimab. These are IV infused monoclonal antibody that has been authorized under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These therapies are currently approved as an outpatient treatment for patients with a mild to moderate Covid-19 infection who are at high risk for progression to more severe symptoms. Examples of high-risk conditions causing the patient to be at increased risk include but are not limited to patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, immunosuppression, asthma, substance use disorders, COPD, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and many more. By reducing the viral load (amount of virus) within the body, this in turn also decreases hospitalizations and Covid-19 symptoms. For example, the higher the viral load of COVID-19 within the body, the worse the symptoms and potentially more contagious a patient is considered to be. Potential adverse reactions of this therapy include injection site reactions such as, redness, irritation, or itching around the IV insertion site with this reaction being the most common. Additional effects such as nausea or vomiting may occur as well.
COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapy is an outpatient therapy provided through the Boyd Infusion center located directly in the hospital across the hall from the pharmacy. If you think you may be a candidate for this therapy, it is important you speak with your provider to assess the risks vs. benefits to make sure it is an appropriate therapy. If so, there are two eligibility requirements and steps that need to be done before receiving treatment:
- First, confirmation of a positive Covid-19 PCR or antigen test must be confirmed, and the patient must be within 10 days of symptom onset. Once this has been established by the provider, they will evaluate all conditions of the patient and make final determination of eligibility to receive the therapy. The provider will send over a prescription to the Boyd Infusion Center or Wickenburg Hospital pharmacy.
- The Boyd Infusion Center will follow up with patient and schedule treatment and other details.
If the provider is not from Wickenburg Community Hospital Clinics or Emergency Department, please have them call the Boyd Infusion Center (928-668-5500) or Wickenburg Hospital Pharmacy (928-684-4380) and request forms to the outside provider. When these forms are received, the scheduler at the Boyd infusion center will reach out to the patient to schedule an appointment.
The infusion duration typically takes about an hour, with an additional hour of observation post-infusion. This is done to safely ensure the patient responds well to the infusion and no adverse reactions occur. Wickenburg Community Hospital is here to help put your mind at ease by offering this beneficial therapy for a virus that has scared our community for much too long.
Question: If my provider is located at one of the Community Hospital Clinics in Wickenburg, Congress, or Wittmann can I just show up at the clinics?
Answer: No. We request you to call 928-668-1833. If calling after 5PM Monday through Friday, please leave message. Include your name, telephone number, Date of Birth, and reason for calling. The clinic will get back to you the next day. If you call after 5PM on Friday, or on the weekend the clinic will call you back on Monday morning. IF YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE AN EMERGENCY THEN PLEASE GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM DO NOT WAIT.
Question: If my provider is not one from the clinics or if I don’t have a provider who can I call?
Answer: If you do not have a provider please call the number above to get enrolled at one of the clinics and start the process. If you have provider but not from WCH Clinics, then have your provider call Boyd Infusion Center at 928-684-5580 or the Hospital Pharmacy at 928-684-4380. We need to send the provider the forms that your provider will need to fill out and fax back to us so we can get you scheduled to come ASAP for your therapy.
Question: I know I want the therapy can I just go to the clinic and get the process started?
Answer: No. We realize you want help and want it as quickly as possible. But going to clinics or Boyd Infusion Center without following our guidelines will most assuredly delay us in giving you the best possible care. The providers must follow a very specific process to make sure you qualify to receive the therapy.
Question: Can I go to the Emergency Department and get it done.?
Answer: Yes. Most patients can be treated as outpatient by the Boyd Infusion Center during their regular business hours. This treatment is not considered an “emergency” treatment. If you go to the emergency department you will be treated with great care. The emergency provider will evaluate and may recommend treatment ASAP in the emergency department, or they may make a referral the next business day to the Boyd Infusion Center. IN ANY CASE, IF YOU THINK YOU NEED EMERGENCY CARE PLEASE GO TO THE CLOSEST EMERGENCY ROOM, DO NOT WAIT.
Question: If I had positive COVID test 2 months ago will this qualify me to get the treatment?
Answer: No. There are many criteria that the provider will evaluate. The two fundamental criteria that have to be present before any other criteria are symptoms present in last ten days and a documented COVID-19 positive test in the same 10-day period. If you have had symptoms for greater than 10 days, you do not qualify for this treatment.
Question: Will I have to come into the clinics for the provider visits?
Answer: No. We want to limit as much as possible exposure to anyone who is COVID positive. Therefore, providers will be making telephone or telehealth calls to patients who want treatment. For those patients who do not have current documentable or verifiable COVID-19 test, arrangements will be made or instructions on how to get will be given.
Question: What is the Emergency Use Authorization or EUA?
Answer: In certain types of emergencies, the FDA can issue an emergency use authorization, or EUA, to provide more timely access to critical medical products (including medicines and tests) that may help during the emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternative options. The EUA process is different than an FDA approval of a drug or medical treatment. The FDA approval requires a more rigorous detailed evaluation and trials that could take years to work thru. The EUA is approved by the FDA but with significantly less data and much shorter time but is needed due to the emergency at hand. EUA is in effect until the emergency declaration ends, revised or revoked or as the drug continually goes through the FDA approval process and be licensed by the FDA.