EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Division Of Emergency Management (TDEM) has established a bamlanivimab infusion wing at the state-run alternate care site (ACS) at the El Paso Convention Center to treat outpatient cases of COVID-19, according to the Office of Gov. Greg Abbott.
The new infusion wing began accepting patients on Tuesday and has been provided with 1,000 doses of bamlanivimab, the Eli Lilly & Company monoclonal antibody therapy, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ACS infusion wing is part of a pilot program developed through a partnership between TDEM and HHS.
“The establishment of the bamlanivimab infusion wing at El Paso’s alternate care site is crucial to keeping hospitalizations down and protecting at-risk Texans in the community,” Abbott said in a news release. “I thank HHS for supporting our efforts by supplying the State of Texas with this shipment of bamlanivimab for the pilot program. We will continue to ensure that this life-saving antibody therapy is available for Texans who need it most.”
The treatment is similar to the one used to treat President Donald Trump for COVID-19.
Bamlanivimab is for outpatient use in people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at increased risk of severe disease. It has been shown to prevent hospitalizations in some patients when used before they become very sick.
According to the City of El Paso, Bamlanivimab is used for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who meet the following criteria:
- COVID-19 positive
- Non-hospitalized adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older
- Mild to moderate symptoms
- Weigh 88 pounds or more (high BMI over 35 for adults or over the 85th percentile for a child’s age and gender based on the CDC growth charts)
- Underlying health conditions (chronic kidney disease, diabetes, immunosuppressive disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, respiratory disease, or other)
- High risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms
Bamlanivimab is not authorized for patients who are already hospitalized or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19.
The treatment involves a one-time intravenous dose that takes about one hour to infuse. Patients will be required to wait an additional hour to monitor reaction to the treatment.
Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and meet the criteria may be screened at participating clinics. A list of screening sites will be posted on EPStrong.org.