Healthbeat: COVID infusion therapy may help avoid a hospital stay

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — COVID-19 patients have a new treatment option available that may help them avoid a hospital stay.

The Wright Center for Community Health is the first in Scranton to offer an outpatient infusion clinic for administering an antibody treatment called BAM. The facility began offering the treatment in late January.

“We just call it BAM therapy. We just came up with that,” Jignesh Sheth, Chief Medical Officer at The Wright Center for Community Health said.

The antibody infusion therapy is looked at as a means to give hope to those infected with the virus, especially as vaccine rollout is still taking time.

“The amount of antibodies in each vial is fixed so that you know you are guaranteed to get the right amount that has proven in literature as well as in studies to appropriately neutralize the virus,” Sheth said.

The entire process from sign-in to sign-out takes two hours. Patients pass the time watching Netflix.

Sheth says that all 44 patients infused have avoided being hospitalized. That includes patients in their 90s or younger than 65, including a 61-year-old man who was on the verge of hospitalization.

The Wright Center offers the treatment to those 65 and older within 10 days of a positive COVID-19 PCR test or onset of symptoms, and to younger patients 12 and older who are at higher risk.

With a 100% successful treatment and recovery rate, Dr. Sheth sees the BAM infusion therapy as another means of giving hope to everyone who fears what COVID-19 might do to them.

“It’s an amazing treatment. I think more people should get it,” he said.

People hospitalized with COVID-19 are not eligible to receive the treatment.

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