2/11/2022 at 11:21 AM

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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.

Inpatient COVID-19 treatments administered at LVHN

Remdesivir

LVHN hospitals are using 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.

According to Timothy Friel, MD, Chair, LVHN Department of Medicine, it is the first antiviral medication that has been associated with a faster recovery time in infected COVID-19 patients enrolled in an international randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Dexamethasone

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

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. 

Outpatient (ambulatory) COVID-19 treatments offered by LVHN

Monoclonal antibody treatment

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is offering monoclonal antibody treatment, an outpatient therapy for COVID-19 which is authorized by the FDA for emergency use. This treatment has been shown to reduce risk for progression to severe disease and requiring an emergency department visit or hospitalization. 

People who are good candidates for monoclonal antibody therapy have a positive COVID-19 test and are within seven days from the onset of symptoms. In addition, symptoms should be mild to moderate but eligible patients should have a higher risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 infection.

High-risk criteria include:

  • Being obese or overweight with a body mass index of 25 or more or age 12-17 years with a BMI >85th percentile;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Sickle cell disease;
  • Having chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, diabetes or an immunosuppressive disease;
  • Taking a medication that suppresses the immune system;
  • Being age 65 or older.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is not used with patients who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infection.

Appropriate patients will be directed to an LVHN infusion site. Patients should plan to be at the site for approximately 3-4 hours. 

Monoclonal antibody treatments include:

More information about Evusheld:

For referring physicians

Remote patient monitoring for COVID-19 patients

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

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.

Post-COVID outpatient rehabilitation program

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.

Get a COVID-19 Pre-Screening

Help is available through an E-Visit, video screening or our nurse helpline.

Learn more