New COVID-19 treatment is available at Monument Health

Coronavirus

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Monument Health in Rapid City is offering a new treatment for COVID-19 patients. This is in an effort to keep people who are at risk of serious complications out of the hospital.

The medication used in Monument Health’s infusion treatment is called Bamlanivimab. It’s designed to block the COVID-19 virus from attaching to cells in the human body.

“It’s fairly easy, it’s like most infusions we do here. It’s not uncommon to do an infusion like this. This is just in isolations,” Melita Lemer, RN with Infusion Services at Monument Health, said.

When a patient receives the treatment, it only takes about an hour.

“And then once the infusion is over, we keep them for another hour and just monitor for any signs of reaction or side effects or anything. And then they are able to go home, we take out their IV and they go home,” Lemer said.

This treatment is currently offered in hospitals across the nation.

So far, about a dozen patients have been treated with the infusion services at Monument Health. Brandi Tackett, the Director of Infusion Services, says results have been promising.

“All the patients we’ve infused have tolerated the infusions very well, which is what we expected based upon the early small studies that were done,” Tackett said.

Patients who are able to receive infusion services have to had tested positive for COVID-19, are showing mild to moderate symptoms, and are at risk for serious complications.”

“Your physician can discuss this with you and if you are both comfortable with receiving this, they can send a referral to our infusion services,” Tackett said.

Other Monument Health hospitals in Spearfish, Custer, Lead-Deadwood and Sturgis are preparing to offer COVID-19 infusions as well.

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