St. Petersburg General Hospital’s Kandice Williams, RN (right) and Vinson Huynh, MD (left) successfully performed HCA Healthcare West Florida’s first monoclonal antibody therapy on patient Harry for the early treatment of COVID-19.

HCA Healthcare West Florida is now offering Bamlanivimab antibody infusions at Brandon Regional Hospital and three other local hospitals to nonhospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have other high-risk factors.

“This is an outpatient antibody infusion that has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nonhospitalized patients, ages 12 and older, who have tested positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms and are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19,” said Debra McKell of HCA West Florida.

The first patient received the treatment on December 9, 2020 at St. Petersburg General Hospital. In addition to Brandon Regional Hospital, participating locations include Blake Medical Center in Manatee County, St. Petersburg General Hospital in Pinellas County, and Medical Center of Trinity in Pasco County.

High-risk conditions that may be eligible for this treatment include obesity, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, immunosuppressive disease and heart disease. For children over the age of 12, sickle cell disease, neurodevelopmental disorders and asthma are also among several additional considerations for eligibility.

“We’re committed to providing our patients, caregivers and the communities we serve with the latest treatments in the fight against COVID-19 and are excited to bring this option to our four different geographic areas along Florida’s west coast,” said Dr. Larry Feinman, chief medical officer for HCA West Florida. “The four locations will support all of our local hospitals in working closely with physicians and other providers across the communities we serve to provide treatment to patients who may benefit, per FDA guidelines.”

Patients with any of the following are not to receive this treatment per the FDA EUA guidelines: hospitalized due to COVID-19, require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19 or require oxygen due to another underlying medical condition.

“We encourage patients to discuss this treatment option with their physician,” McKell said. “Also, Brandon Regional Hospital is providing the treatment for children ages 12 and older. Please contact Brandon Regional Hospital if you have a child age 12 or older who qualifies for this treatment based on their medical history.”

Patients who meet the criteria may contact one of our four locations directly for assistance in scheduling. Call Brandon Regional Hospital at 916-1581 or 460-3187; Blake Medical Center at 941-798-6150; Medical Center of Trinity at 727-834-4917 and St. Petersburg General Hospital at 727-341-4909.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.