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Kentucky Children’s Hospital opens pediatric monoclonal antibody clinic

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 3:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A new pediatric specialty infusion clinic was set up in Lexington to act as the states primary treatment site for pediatric patients who test positive or had known exposure with COVID-19.

Located inside UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Clinic, staff will be able to serve 26 children, ages 12 and up, each day with monoclonal antibody infusion.

Monoclonal antibodies are similar to the antibodies your immune system would produce in response to infection, but these are mass produced and designed to specifically target the coronavirus.

While this treatment has already had approval for use with adults, it recently got FDA emergency use authorization for children 12 and up.

That’s why staff and providers at Kentucky’s Children Hospital set up the Specialty Infusion Clinic to serve as the primary state site for pediatric covid monoclonal antibody infusions.

It couldn’t have come at a better time as infection rates among children have increased significantly.

“What we’ve been seeing in Kentucky Children’s Hospital is that, since July 30th, we have had six times as many admissions to Kentucky Children’s Hospital for severe or critical COVID-19 infection in children than we have had for the entirety of the pandemic prior to July 30,” said Dr. Sean McTigue, Interim Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

It’s important to remember that this new clinic, as well as the facility for adults, is only accepting patients by referral only. So, it’s important that you first talk to your primary care provider.

Patients, ages 12-17, who test positive for COVID or have had a known exposure, are eligible to receive infusions if they have high-risk factors such as:

  • Obesity or being overweight (body mass index greater than 85 percent for their age and gender on CDC growth charts)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment
  • Cardiovascular disease, including congenital heart disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic lung disease including moderate to severe asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, genetic/metabolic syndromes, severe congenital anomalies
  • Patients who are dependent on medical technology such as tracheostomy, gastrostomy, positive pressure ventilation not related to COVID-19
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