GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On Wednesday, Dec. 16, two teams from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Region 6 Emergency Preparedness partnered with the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV) to perform transfusions of the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab for veteran residents at the home who met treatment criteria according to the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.
“More than 20 members met criteria for infusion and consented to treatment. All members returned to the COVID unit after infusion and remain free of any adverse reactions at this time,” said Anne Zerbe, director of the Michigan Veterans Homes. “At this time, this is the second and largest single-day infusion clinic to occur in the state.”
The medication has been granted FDA emergency approval and is given by IV infusion over one hour according to the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs Capt. Andrew Layton, with the recipient being monitored for one hour after infusion. This treatment is approved for infusion in people who are not hospitalized with COVID but present mild to moderate symptoms.
“The outstanding partnership between MDHHS, Spectrum Health, and local EMS providers is another example of our state’s proactive approach to getting the best treatment to our most vulnerable populations, in this case, Michiganders who have already given their utmost to protect us,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “I am excited to see the availability of the antibody Bamlanivimab at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans; this is another important tool that allows us to go on the offensive against COVID-19.”
The infusion clinic was directed by an emergency room physician who lead the onsite team the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs reports. Local EMS providers supported with the establishment of IV access and nurses from the MDHHS Mobile Crisis Teams monitored the infusions for any adverse reactions. MDDHS Mobile Crisis Teams certified nursing assistants were also onsite to provide assistance with member needs.
“This infusion clinic demonstrates the exciting opportunity that exists when state and local partners to work together to combat COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “I am thrilled this coalition could quickly come together to safely administer this potentially life-saving treatment to Michigan veterans.”