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Lakeland Regional Hospital offering COVID-19 treatment said to reduce virus severity

Officials say it will also help them reduce hospitalizations by as much as 70 percent.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

LAKELAND, Fla. — A monoclonal antibody treatment said to reduce the severity of the coronavirus and decrease hospital bed need is available at Lakeland Regional Health.

The hospital says it has already begun treatment with bamlanivimab on those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and officials say it reduces the need for hospitalizations by as much as 70 percent.

“This new COVID-19 drug therapy has great promise,” said Timothy J. Regan, MD, President/Chief Medical Officer of Lakeland Regional Health. “Particularly as we see a rise in COVID-19 cases around our state and country, Lakeland Regional Health is steadfast in its commitment to provide leading-edge, evidence-based treatments and processes to the patients and families we serve."

Lakeland Regional Health is among the first health systems in the state to offer the drug treatment, according to Regan. The health system received an initial 140 doses and has since treated three people with bamlanivimab. 

According to a press release, the drug is intended for those with the virus above the age of 12 and who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. It is provided through an IV infusion and takes about an hour for treatment followed by an hour for observation.

“Our exceptional physicians and nurses have been at the forefront of testing and treating COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic, and they stand ready to care for you with this new treatment,” said Hal Escowitz, MD, Lakeland Regional Health Quality Officer and Chief Medical Informatics Officer.

The treatment is only offered in the hospital's emergency department at this time but will soon be offered through its Urgent Care locations.