Dr. Jose Vasquez, Infectious Disease (right), reviews a patient’s chart with Gladys Branson, RN, at the Brandon Regional Hospital Infusion Clinic.

Brandon Regional Hospital is currently offering Bamlanivimab (BAM) antibody infusion treatments to patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 and who have other high-risk factors. It is an outpatient, one dose treatment designed to keep patients from becoming severely ill and needing to be hospitalized.

“A monoclonal antibody, BAM has been granted emergent use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration to treat non-hospitalized patients infected with COVID-19, who have mild or moderate symptoms and are at high risk for developing severe disease or hospitalization,” said Jose Vasquez, MD, Infectious Disease. “Antibodies are molecules made by our immune system to attack or neutralize bacteria and viruses. A BAM treatment can neutralize SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.”

Who would benefit from a BAM treatment?

Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who have mild or moderate symptoms, who are not in the hospital, and who have conditions that put them at risk for developing severe disease, such as:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • Obesity (BMI >= 35)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppressive disease or receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • 55 years of age AND have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Hypertension (HTN) or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Patients 12 to 17 years of age who have: obesity, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy, bronchial asthma, tracheostomy, gastric tube and/or other conditions

When should a patient receive a BAM treatment?

The best time is as soon as they are diagnosed with the COVID-19 infection, before the symptoms get worse. The treatment must be given within 10 days of the onset of symptoms, not from the date of the positive test.

How is BAM administered?

BAM treatments are administered through a line in the vein (intravenously). It is a one dose, one hour infusion. Patients are asked to stay an additional hour so they can be monitored for any possible reactions.

Are there any potential risks or side effects of BAM?

There have been cases of allergic reactions. This includes flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. There have not been any adverse reactions reported from BAM infusions administered at Brandon Regional Hospital. Patients should discuss the benefits and potential risks of BAM therapy with their physician.

Where can I receive a BAM treatment?

Brandon Regional Hospital is currently administering BAM treatments. However, patients will need to obtain a referral from their physician prior to receiving their treatment. Your doctor can fax a referral to 813-916-2942 or they can contact the clinic directly at 813-916-1581. Our hospital ER physicians can also assist with the referral process.

What is the cost to receive a BAM treatment?

Medicare will cover the cost of a BAM infusion. Patients should check with their insurance provider for estimated costs for their treatment.

How long should a patient wait to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after receiving the BAM treatment?

The recommendation is to wait two to three months after a patient is infected with COVID-19 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Are there any additional recommendations?

After receiving their BAM treatment, patients should continue to take COVID-19 precautions: self-isolation, wear a mask when around others and practice social distancing.