Hospital offering only pediatric space for COVID-19 antibody infusions

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital is providing monoclonal antibody infusions for kids 12 and older.

HFCH is the only facility in West Virginia to offer a special pediatric space for these infusions.

“We wanted the infusion to be given by those personally trained in pediatrics because things are different. Even IV access is different in our young kids compared to adults,” said Dr. Mariana Lanata, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Marshall Health.

Dr. Lanata says while other places offer treatments for kids, they have to go to adult facilities.

“They get exposed to other positive patients so it just involves a lot of other factors that may make everything more intimidating for our patients,” Lanata said.

With a colorful room and nurses trained to treat children, any child 12 and older who tests positive for COVID-19, has mild symptoms, and is considered high risk can receive the treatment.

“If you have a patient that gets diagnosed from COVID but is doing well and doesn’t require oxygen but has some vulnerabilities, so usually it’s OPCT or asthma or chronic lung disease or immunocompromised patients receiving cancer therapy and things like that, they can get this infusion,” Lanata said.

Dr. Lanata says the key to the treatment is receiving it within the first week of seeing symptoms.

“When they are doing well is when you want to give it and you’re giving them extra antibodies to fight the virus so that they actually don’t get severe disease so you’re trying to keep them out of the hospital, so once they are sick and are requiring oxygen you’re too late,” she said.

To receive treatment, a patient must contact their doctor to see if they are eligible for an infusion and they will be referred for treatment.

Referrals to the Hoops Outpatient Infusion Center may be made by both Mountain Health Network and non-Mountain Health Network providers.

Dr. Lanata also says it’s important to remember the infusion is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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