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Antibody Treatment To Help Keep High-Risk Coronavirus Patients Out Of Hospitals

ORANGE (CBSLA) -- An infusion center was set up at UC Irvine Health in Orange, where nearly 200 newly diagnosed coronavirus patients came for a special IV treatment.

Doctors say in nearly every case the monoclonal antibody medication, or BAM, has kept some high-risk coronavirus patients out of the hospital.

"We have found that 97 percent in our last data lock 97 percent of patients have never, 99 percent never come into the hospital," said Dr. Alpesh Amin, Professor and Chair of UCI's Department of Medicine.

With hospitals and ICUs still coping with high numbers of sick patients, one of the most critical needs for the healthcare system is more beds.

Dr. Alpesh Amin says that's where BAM has been a key resource to ease the burden in hospital wards.

"This is not necessarily treating the virus it's allowing your body to deal with," Amin said.

There are strict criteria to qualify for the BAM treatment and it's only for people who have been recently diagnosed with coronavirus.

UC Irvine Health uses a point system to determine who will receive the hour-long IV infusion.

Four points are needed. For example, someone over 80 is given 4 points, a person 65-79 gets two points, a male gets one point, and a non-White person receives one point.

BAM has only been used at UCI Health since December.

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