A new emergency treatment for COVID0-19 is now available at local hospitals for patients who aren't sick enough to be hospitalized.

Bamlanivimab, known as BAM for short, helps block COVID-19 cells from attacking the patient. It mimics the immune system to help fight off the virus in patients who test positive for coronavirus.

Timothy Haman, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana told KPLC that BAM could be a life saving treatment for people that are susceptible to severe illness.

There is some controversy surrounding BAM as it was given emergency approval from the FDA and it hasn't been fully tested.  Doctors are transparent that they don't know a lot about the drug or the potential risks that it could pose to patients, although local doctors say they're seeing positive early results.

The BAM treatment is being reserved for patients with underlying medical conditions like:

  • BMI greater than 35
  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • immunosuppressive disease
  • those receiving immunosuppressive treatment/therapy
  • age over 65
  • cardiovascular disease
  • hypertension
  • chronic lung/respiratory disease
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