- COVID-19 Help Center
- Treatments and Clinical Trials
The virus that causes COVID-19 infection impacts each person differently, and the effectiveness of treatment options also differs from person to person. Rest assured, you or your loved ones will receive the treatment option that may work best for you. At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), we are committed to providing our patients and community with the best possible care and treatments. Our research scientists are integrated with our clinical departments for a comprehensive, collaborative approach to research, including COVID-19 clinical trials.
LVHN hospitals may use the antiviral medication, remdesivir, to treat hospitalized patients who have COVID-19.
Remdesivir is given to a patient through an IV once per day for at least five days. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), remdesivir may help to decrease the amount of coronavirus in a person’s body, which may help them get better faster.
Remdesivir was the first antiviral medication that was associated with a faster recovery time in infected COVID-19 patients enrolled in an international randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Dexamethasone is a steroid or an anti-inflammatory drug that can be given intravenously or orally. It helps to minimize the impact of the coronavirus on the lungs and the body. Dexamethasone has been clinically shown to reduce mortality from COVID-19.
Proning has been found to be an effective tool when it comes to treating COVID-19 and other acute respiratory conditions. Proning is the process of safely and precisely turning a patient from their back to their abdomen so the individual is lying face down. This position allows for better distribution of air in the lungs. Because many patient are hooked up to medical equipment, proning is a delicate procedure that requires a team of up to six providers, including nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and anesthesia physicians.
About monoclonal antibody treatment
Evusheld Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Discontinued by FDA
In January 2022, the Food and Drug Administration withdrew emergency use authorization (EUA) for AstraZeneca’s Evusheld monoclonal antibody treatment designed to bolster immunity for certain at-risk populations prior to any infection with or exposure to COVID-19.
Consequently, Evusheld is no longer offered by Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).
Data show Evusheld is unlikely to be active against the COVID-19 variants responsible for more than 90% of current infections in the U.S. Evusheld is not expected to provide protection against developing COVID-19 if exposed to those variants.
For those who had future appointments for Evusheld infusions, LVHN will reach out and cancel them. If the FDA renews the Evusheld EUA in the future, the public will be notified.
There is no other monoclonal antibody currently available to treat or prevent COVID-19 infections. Newer monoclonal antibodies are being developed but no timeline has been released. High-risk patients should remain up to date with their COVID vaccinations. Early diagnosis is important and there are available treatments, including Paxlovid (oral) and Remdesivir (intravenous). Your primary care provider can assist you in receiving those treatments.
CARES for COVID-19
CARES Remote Patient Monitoring is a remote patient monitoring program. Each person in the program receives a customized kit with tools to record blood oxygen levels and temperature. CARES patients log in to MyLVHN, the LVHN patient portal, to record those data points and answer questions about their symptoms twice a day. Information is reviewed by a nurse on the LVHN CARES team. If needed, the nurse will reach out to discuss the patient’s condition or provide the information to a physician for further review. This service is available to patients throughout the health network.
LVHN@Home combines home nurse visits, virtual physician visits and enhanced remote monitoring to help more patients with COVID-19 recover at home. This program is available to people who live in Lehigh or Northampton counties as well as certain areas in Berks and Carbon counties.
If you come to the emergency room, physicians will determine next steps in care. If hospital services aren't required, but you could benefit from enhanced monitoring while you are ill and recovering, that can now be done from the comfort of your own home through LVHN@Home, saving you the costs associated with a hospital stay.
Patients who participate receive a customized kit like with the CARES program, however LVHN@Home kits include items like a pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff and thermometer, all with the technology to automatically submit data to LVHN. Patients use these items twice a day. Nurses review each patient’s data and can identify issues to prevent hospitalizations. A Lehigh Valley Home Care nurse either comes to the patient’s house or meets with the patient virtually each day. Patients also have access to speak with a nurse anytime, day or night.
Recovering from COVID-19 is a process that can take months. As many as 30 percent of adults and children with COVID-19 have been diagnosed with Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID (PASC) or what doctors are calling long-COVID.
LVHN offers outpatient rehabilitation for patients who suffer from long-COVID, which is diagnosed when patients suffer from chronic symptoms beyond four weeks. These people are often referred to as long-haulers. Some of the most common symptoms people experience are shortness of breath, cognitive issues or “brain fog”, muscle weakness and chronic fatigue.
The goal of the post-COVID rehabilitation program is to address issues that persist after recovery like decreased strength, balance, endurance, cognition and respiratory muscle retraining. Individualized treatment plans are made in conjunction with the referring physician with input from the patient.
Post-Covid rehabilitation is offered at all 50 LVHN outpatient rehabilitation service locations. For more information on post-COVID rehabilitation, visit LVHN.org/rehab.