This page was last updated on: 05/18/2020 at 12:12 PM.
DETÉNGASE Y LEA ESTA ACTUALIZACIÓN IMPORTANTE DEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19). >> HAGA CLIC AQUÍ
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) remains vigilant as the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, and we are committed to being your partner in health in these unprecedented times. As a leader in infection control and prevention, LVHN is taking extraordinary steps to deliver the smart, comprehensive care you need through new ways to screen, assess, test and keep you safe.
Free COVID-19 pre-screenings
If you think you have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who does, stay home. We are providing free COVID-19 screenings online and by phone. You must be in the state of Pennsylvania to receive screening due to medical licensing regulations:
- Complete an E-Visit (detailed questionnaire visit submitted to a provider) by visiting MyLVHN.org or your MyLVHN app.
- Call the MyLVHN Nurse Information line at 1-888-402-LVHN.
- Complete an LVHN Video Visit by downloading the MyLVHN app.
We want to screen you via these technologies so that you remain in your own home and only need to leave if testing is needed. This screening helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 and it helps keep your doctor's office open and available to provide other important care.
During the screening, our medical professionals will determine if you have COVID-19 symptoms and if you fall into one of the high risk categories. Due to the limited numbers of tests available in the region and throughout the county, testing is currently recommended for only people who have the highest risk of complications. If needed, you will be directed to one of LVHN’s stand-alone COVID-19 Assess and Test locations. The COVID-19 test detects active disease and cannot determine if you have been exposed. It is important to note that tests are reserved for those who need them most.
LVHN has opened stand-alone Assess and Test locations throughout the region. They have been established to minimize our community’s exposure to COVID-19. You must receive guidance via the nurse line, an LVHN Video Visit, an eVisit or your provider to be assessed and possibly tested. If you do not have insurance, you will receive a bill but you won’t be required to pay.
Waiting protocol to protect you and others
To further reduce risk of exposure to coronavirus, we are asking patients to wait in their car instead of in the waiting room at our Assess and Test locations.
When you arrive at the Assess and Test office, go inside and check in with the registration desk. You will be asked to provide your mobile phone number. Then you can return to your car and wait until the Assess and Test office calls your mobile phone, letting you know you can be seen.
By doing this, you will reduce your risk of exposure to coronavirus in a busy waiting area, as well as potentially protect others if you do happen to have coronavirus or another infection.
Health Network Labs manages and processes the tests, and results are available within four days. If you need care for another condition, you can continue to visit any other ExpressCARE location or LVPG practice.
Treatment and Clinical Trials
Your partners at Lehigh Valley Health Network continue to explore all possibilities for treating COVID-19. While it’s important to remember there is no cure for this virus, we’re using all currently available options that have demonstrated some success to treat those who test positive for COVID-19.
The virus 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.
Donation of Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Other Patients with COVID-19
Have you recovered from COVID-19? If so, you may be able to help others who are critically ill from the COVID-19 infection by donating your plasma.
When a person contracts a virus like COVID-19, their immune system creates antibodies to fight the virus. Those who have completely recovered from COVID-19 may have immune-boosting antibodies in their plasma—called “convalescent plasma”—that could be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. This provides a boost to the immune system of the sick patient and may help speed the recovery process.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center is strongly encouraging plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients. Plasma (the liquid part of our blood) cannot be manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. Therefore, we are dependent upon donations from recovered patients to ensure that we have a continued supply of this investigational therapy.
A recovered COVID-19 patient can donate plasma 28 days after their symptoms have resolved or 14 days if they receive a negative COVID-19 test. All patients interested in donations will have the same screening performed on all blood product donors.
To become a convalescent plasma donor, contact the MyLVHN Nurse Line at 888-402-LVHN (5846).
Selinexor Clinical Trial
LVHN is among the first participants in an international clinical trial to test the effectiveness of the drug selinexor to treat COVID-19.
The placebo-controlled study looks at selinexor, marketed under the brand name XPOVIO, as a potential antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatment for COVID-19.
Selinexor, currently approved at higher doses by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, is what’s known as a selective inhibitor of nuclear transport, or SINE, in cells. It’s been shown that COVID-19’s ability to replicate is impaired when nuclear transport is blocked. Animal models suggest some significant reduction in viral replication.
Marcelo, Gareca, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist, the principal investigator of the study at LVHN, says the research will assess the effectiveness and safety of 20mg of selinexor given orally to patients in the hospital three times a week for two weeks. Patients tolerating therapy well and experiencing clinical benefit may be eligible to have the treatment extended to four weeks if needed.
The global study is expected to enroll approximately 230 patients at clinical sites in the US, Europe, and Israel, including LVHN.
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.
With COVID-19, our commitment to safety is more evident than ever. We are taking every possible step to provide COVID-SAFE care in every location where we see patients.
LVHN started to reopen facilities including COVID-FREE hospitals and COVID-SAFE LVPG practices. These facilities follow stringent safety protocols to remain as free as possible from COVID-19.