Mercy is now offering Regen-COV for outpatients with COVID-19 that aims to aid in their recovery and prevent hospitalization. Often called the “COVID cocktail,” the experimental treatment approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration combines two antibodies to help a patient’s immune system fight the infection.
Mercy previously used another treatment commonly referred to as BAM. However, this new combination of casirivimab and imdevimab therapy has shown better results in preventing patients with the COVID-19 Delta variant from being hospitalized.
According to the FDA, in a clinical trial of patients with COVID-19, casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together, were shown to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization and ER visits in patients at high risk for disease progression.
Patients must be referred for the Regen-COV infusion by their primary care provider after a positive COVID-19 test. They must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35
- Have chronic kidney disease
- Have diabetes
- Have immunosuppressive disease
- Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
- Are older than 65
- Are older than 55 and have:
- cardiovascular disease, or
- hypertension, or
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease.
- Are 12-17 years year old and have:
- BMI greater than the 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts
- sickle cell disease, or
- congenital or acquired heart disease, or
- neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, cerebral palsy, or
- a medical-related technological dependence, for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19), or
- asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.
“This new antibody infusion has proven to be beneficial for COVID-19 patients at high risk of poor outcomes if given early in the disease process,” said Dr. John Harkess, infectious disease physician at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.
After treatment, patients should continue to self-isolate and use infection control measures including wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding sharing of personal items, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces and frequent hand washing until they have been cleared by their physician.
When patients arrive at the hospital, they call the outpatient infusion center and a nurse comes to greet and escort them directly to the infusion room, a separate space reserved for only COVID-19 patients on the first floor of the hospital. The entire process takes about three hours, including paperwork and observation period after the one-hour infusion.