LVHN hospitals are using the antiviral medication, remdesivir, to treat patients in the hospital with COVID-19. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton received the drug through the Pennsylvania Department of Health as part of a federal distribution of 1,200 doses.
The hospitals were determined based on the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital over a recent seven-day period, and the severity of the illness of those patients, based on whether they are on a ventilator.
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 decrease the amount of coronavirus in a person’s body, which may help them get better faster.
According to Timothy Friel, MD, Chair, LVHN’s 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.