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COVID-19 patient touts Bamlanivimab treatment

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 9:03 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In a 6 News exclusive, we’re learning more about how at least one patient feels after getting the FDA authorized COVID-19 drug which has been offered by CHI Health for a little over a week now.

Experts are still studying Bamlanivimab, but one woman from Lincoln says she felt better within a day of receiving a transfusion.

“I would definitely say go for it,” patient Laura McLeod said.

When doctors told McLeod she qualified for the COVID-19 drug Bamlanivimab, she was skeptical. She would be one of the first four to receive the investigational drug at CHI Health St. Elizabeth hospital in Lincoln.

McLeod says it took one day to feel positive results.

“Pretty much right away and then by Sunday, I felt like I hadn’t even been sick,” she said.

Doctors with CHI Health have given 61 doses of the drug across Nebraska and Iowa since November 20. Manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company says the drug’s man-made antibodies limit the amount of virus in the body.

“Bamlanivimab is the best product that we have right now to give patients that are at high risk versus the vaccine. Hopefully when that comes available that may end up replacing this therapy, but for now, it’s the best that we have especially for active infections,” said David Schmidt, CHI Health Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services.

Patients like Laura qualified because they were considered high risk and referred by a physician. If you’re positive for COVID-19 and referred by your primary care provider, you could get a dose before hospitalization.

“There’s always that fear of complications and ending up in the hospital,” McLeod said.

The Lincoln school teacher says the side effect of a little headache every now and then is worth saving her a trip to the hospital due to COVID-19.

“I am very thankful that we decided to go ahead and do this,” she said.

A spokesperson for CHI Health says patients who receive the infusion still have to follow quarantine guidelines. For a mild infection, the health system says that means 10 days quarantine and being fever-free for 24 hours.

Bamlanivimab fact sheet.

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