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Infusion Center Opens in El Centro to Treat COVID-19 Patients


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the El Centro Regional Medical Center began administering monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatments at a temporary COVID-19 Infusion center.

The center is the first in a pilot program to treat certain COVID-19 patients in order to prevent hospitalization and the severity of the illness.

The center will treat people that have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk of severe illness or hospitalization. Patients at the infusion center will receive one of two monoclonal antibody therapeutics authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, either one from Eli Lily and Company which uses the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab or one from Regeneron which combines the two monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab.

“Like many hospitals across the country, ECRMC is caring for an extremely high number of patients who have developed severe cases of COVID-19,” said assistant secretary for preparedness and response Dr. Robert Kadlec. “At this infusion center, a federal medical team will be on hand to provide therapeutic treatments that can keep people from becoming so sick that they need to be hospitalized, which will help reduce the stress on the hospital, particularly the ICU, and help save lives.”

“In our fight against COVID, adding a tool in our toolbox we call therapies to include the infusion center is going to be a win-win for our community,” said Chief Executive Officer of ECRMC Dr. Adolphe Edward. “We are finally going to be able to actually treat patients at an early stage that might have had COVID and now we can actually see that besides vaccines and therapeutics we are going to win this battle.”

The medicines are administered through this intravenous infusion treatment. The infusion of the therapeutic and medical observation together takes approximately two-and-a-half hours. At ECRMC, patients who meet the criteria will be treated with the therapeutic by a team of medical professionals from the National Disaster Medical System.

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