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Texas Health system adds monoclonal antibody infusion sites

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Neighborhood Care & Wellness centers in Burleson, Prosper and Willow Park are now among the sites administering potentially lifesaving monoclonal antibodies to COVID-19 positive patients who qualify to receive them.

“So far it’s going well,” said Blake Windham, administrator at Texas Health Neighborhood Care & Wellness Centers Burleson and Willow Park.  “Our nurses are glad to be helping out because they know it’s making a difference in the lives of patients.” Both centers are departments of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Texas Health Physicians Group physicians and advanced practice providers and Texas Health Emergency Department physicians can write orders for the infusions, which are scheduled through Central Pharmacy. Proximity to the wellness centers and the different hospitals providing the infusions is taken into account, said Randy Ball, M.B.A., R.Ph., vice president of pharmacy and system pharmacy officer.

Depending on the state government allocation, either bamlanivimab or the casirivimab/Imdevimab combination will be used for patients at the wellness centers.

The COVID-19-fighting infusions are for patients who meet certain criteria under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Many of the patients who have received either of the two infusions report feeling much better in as little as 24 hours. The infusions can potentially allow patients to get better without hospitalization or emergency department visits, so they play a role in reducing hospital overload caused by the pandemic.

Monoclonal antibodies neutralize the virus by binding to its spike protein. This keeps COVID-19 from attaching to the surface of the patient’s cells, Ball said.

Rendell Gazzingan, administrator at Texas Health Neighborhood Care & Wellness Center Prosper, said eight infusions were given there in the first three days. The Prosper center is a department of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

Infusion Clinic Sites As of Jan. 18, the following sites are active:

  • Texas Health Arlington Memorial
  • Texas Health Burleson
  • Texas Health Cleburne
  • Texas Health Dallas
  • Texas Health Fort Worth
  • Texas Health HEB
  • Texas Health Prosper
  • Texas Health Stephenville
  • Texas Health Willow Park

“The patients express so much optimism,” she said. “The staff is super excited to contribute to the organization in this way.”

She said the infusion process also is allowing Emergency Department staff members to flex new skill sets.

In addition to the Neighborhood Care & Wellness Centers, infusion sites at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas were recently expanded and Texas Health hospitals in Arlington, Cleburne, Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Stephenville were added. Now, the system can provide about 400 infusions per week.

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