One Friday morning in January, Omnicare Consultant Pharmacist, David Kirkwood received an email. It was a detailed file authorizing an innovative COVID-19 treatment – Bamlanivimab Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Therapy.
“We called it ‘Bam’ for short,” David says. “I remember feeling badly for the pharmacist who had to explain the complicated process for dispensing bamlanivimab to nursing staff."
Unbeknownst to him, David would be that pharmacist — using the treatment to sustain the lives of 46 patients.
Just two hours after he received the authorization, Darlene Breese, Director of Nursing at The Laurels of Sandy Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center sent David a dire text. At their 87-bed facility in Wayland, Michigan, 37 residents, mostly seniors, had tested positive for COVID-19.
“There was real urgency. Patients were becoming sicker, at least eight patients were expected to need hospitalization within 24 hours,” David says. “We knew the health care system would be overwhelmed if they were admitted. The State Department of Health was anticipating a mass casualty incident.”
But David and Darlene had Bam. “Early tests had shown a 50% decrease in hospital admissions,” explains David. They decided those promising numbers were worth a shot.