AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — When Gary Springs and his wife, Sharon, were diagnosed with COVID, they did not feel well and did not know what to expect.
But in December, the 81-year-old Lakewood man became the first patient at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital to receive monoclonal antibody treatment.
The treatment is given through an IV infusion at an outpatient facility.
“I got the infusion. It lasted an hour,” Gary said. “I went home, and I felt great the next day.”
Now months later, doctors have learned more about the treatment and are urging recently diagnosed COVID patients who are at high risk for hospitalization to consider it.
“Now we have data on thousands of patients that really definitively prove that this treatment works. Now the challenge is actually getting the word out to the public, getting the word out to providers that this treatment exists, how to access the treatment, and then getting people in for infusions that need it,” said Dr. Adit Ginde, a UCHealth emergency department physician.
Ginde says the treatment is available for high-risk patients who are not hospitalized. It does not matter if they are vaccinated or not. The treatment can be given up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
“They have up to 90% reduced risk of being hospitalized, their symptoms recover quicker, and their long-term recovery is better, more complete, and faster,” Ginde said.
Patients can receive Bamlanivimab/Etesevimab made by Eli Lilly or Casirivimab/Imdevimab made by Regeneron at one of 30 locations across the state.
“Anybody who qualifies for it definitely should take it,” Gary said.
His wife had to be hospitalized, and she could not receive the treatment.
Gary is glad he did.
“I was amazed, totally amazed,” he said.
COVID patients who are interested should talk to their provider to see if they are eligible and how to schedule an infusion.