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Baton Rouge General opening specialized center for COVID antibody treatments

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Baton Rouge General will open a specialized treatment center this week that will allow staff to treat more COVID patients using monoclonal antibodies.

On Monday, the hospital announced its Specialty Infusion Center at BRG's Bluebonnet location would open later that same week. The center will include 15 infusion bays that will allow them to perform up to 80 infusions each day. 

Earlier this month, local doctors touted the treatment as way for COVID patients ages 65 and up, or with a pre-existing condition, to avoid extended hospital stays and even death. 

“Early data show that monoclonal antibodies can successfully reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations rates and emergency department visits,” Dr. Louis Minsky, chief of staff at Baton Rouge General, said in statement Monday. “As our local hospitals are bursting at the seams with COVID-19 patients, many requiring critical care, the hope is to relieve some of that pressure.”

A physician referral is required to get the treatment, and patients must have symptoms for fewer than 10 days and meet one of the following criteria. 

-65 years old or older

-Have a BMI of more than 25 kg/m2, or if age 12-17, have BMI above the 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts

-Currently Pregnant

-Current or former smoker

-History of stroke or cerebrovascular disease

-Current or history of substance abuse

-Neurodevelopmental disorders or other conditions that confer medical complexity

-Have a medical-related technological dependence (e.g., tracheostomy, gastrostomy)         

 -Have a medical condition, including:

        Chronic kidney disease
        Cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease, hypertension)
        Diabetes
        Down syndrome
        Dementia
        Liver disease
        Chronic lung disease
        Sickle cell disease
        Immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment

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