Norman Regional Health System

hand with infusion tubbing

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Monocolonal antibody therapy is keeping patients with COVID-19 out of the hospital and on the road to recovery. Norman Regional Health System is administering Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in an Outpatient COVID Infusion Center to high risk patients 18 years of age and older.

Lonnie Tracy, of Blanchard, was one person to receive the treatment. It kept him out of the hospital and he said he began to feel better in a few days.

“I would recommend it in a New York minute,” Tracy said.

He was referred to the Outpatient COVID Infusion Center by his doctor, Ryan Turner, MD. The center is located just south of Norman Regional Hospital in its own building.

One of the nurses at the center is Jennifer Davis, RN, who lost her mother to the coronavirus in October 2020. She said once she heard the center was opening to help patients with COVID, she felt called to work with these patients.

“The pandemic has renewed my passion for nursing and my love of helping people,” Davis said. “I wanted to work with COVID patients. I give them and this center 110%.”

Davis said that after her mother’s death, she studied COVID inside and out. She has seen firsthand the improvements made by those who receive treatment at the center and is passionate about helping them and educating them about this disease. Davis has been in the medical field for about 30 years and prior to working at the Outpatient COVID Infusion Center was an oncology nurse at Norman Regional Health System.

Aaron Boyd, MD, is an intensivist who treats patients with COVID as well as the Chief Medical Officer at Norman Regional. He is hopeful this center will provide options for patients.

“The most likely candidate will be somebody who's tested positive with symptoms recently, that is at high risk for the complications of COVID-19,” Boyd said. “There are age criteria and chronic medical problem criteria that we will use to determine who can receive the infusion.”

This center is open to established patients with Norman Regional Primary Care Clinics.

The center treated its first patient on Nov. 23, 2020. To date, 66% of patients have shown improved symptoms within 24 to 48 hours of infusion and only 1.5% of patients have subsequently been hospitalized, which is better than the percentage in manufacturers’ clinical trials.

“This therapy has the potential to save lives,” Davis said. “I truly think it’s a miracle drug.”

The criteria for COVID positive patients to receive treatment includes:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • Obesity or being overweight (BMI greater than 25 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment
  • Cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease) or hypertension
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders (for example, cerebral palsy) or other conditions that confer medical complexity (for example, genetic or metabolic syndromes and severe congenital anomalies)
  • Having a medicalrelated technological dependence (for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19)