EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Courtyard Health and Rehabilitation Center in El Dorado is the first long-term care facility in the state to offer monoclonal antibody treatments to its patients who have mild to moderate symptoms of the coronavirus.
The facility has been offering this treatment option for about a week now. It is designed to protect against the spike of COVID-19, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
Patsy Hosford, 90, contracted the virus during the same week and was on the first few patients to receive it.
“They noticed she wasn’t walking as much as she used to and they were checking on her and she was doing a lot of extra sleeping,” her son, Jeff Hosford said.
Ms. Patsy has been living at Courtyard Health and Rehab for about three years now and is one of the facility’s dementia patients.
Hosford knows his mom to be a healthy woman. So much so, that he always knew that she would outlive him but when the virus came he wasn’t so sure.
He expressed getting very emotional when he received a call that his mother tested positive for the coronavirus and went into immediate panic mode until the staff at Courtyard had an answer for him.
That solution was offering a monoclonal antibody treatment, the same treatment given to President Trump.
In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab.
The infusion treats confirmed COVID-19 patients who are at a high-risk of disease progression and hospitalization.
Hospitals offer this treatment as an outpatients and inpatient option but now these residents get direct access to it right in their own rooms, never having to leave the facility.
“The continued path of my mother as of this morning is that she’s doing fine,” Hosford said. “I’m sure it saved my mom’s life there’s no doubt about that.”
Executive Director of Arkansas Healthcare Association, Rachel Bunch, says there about 10 residents at Couryard Health and Rehab that has received the treatment and there haven’t been any negative effects.
There have been several other facilities across the state to receive doses of the infusion to treatments within the last week.
Courtyard Rehab is still currently the only facility in the region that offers this but Bunch hopes to expand this to other facilities as well.
Hosford is optimistic that the treatment is another cure that will save many lives.
“My hope is that she will get through this particular tenure of the virus and then go back to being who she is,” he said.
Hosford praised the long-term care facility for being at the forefront of this
“They don’t get near the recognition in terms of what they have to deal with,” he said. “There are hundreds of people living there and these staff and nurses and administrators are literally going into a warzone everyday with this pandemic.”
You can learn more about the monoclonal antibody infusion here Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Monoclonal Antibody for Treatment of COVID-19 | FDA.