AUSTIN, Texas - The COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center in Austin is being expanded. The expansion will give the Austin Regional Infusion Center 24 additional infusion chairs, staff, and medical equipment.
The center had initially opened on January 6 with 9 infusion chairs. Since opening, the infusion center has treated 279 patients. The patients, who are generally 65 years of age or older, were referred by their doctors.
In collaboration with Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White, and St. David’s Healthcare, this regional infusion center will be provided a regular supply of monoclonal antibody therapy to treat patients, who meet certain criteria, with a referral from a hospital or doctor.
"Expanding this infusion center will help us treat our most vulnerable in the central Texas region," said Governor Abbott. "These treatments are essential in our fight to keep hospitalizations down and save lives, and I am grateful to our state and local partners for working collaboratively to expand this infusion center."
The infusion center was established through a partnership between TDEM, the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force, Travis County, the City of Austin, and the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare released the following statement about the expansion of the Austin Regional Infusion Center (RIC):
The Austin Regional Infusion Center (RIC) was established through a partnership between the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force, Travis County, the City of Austin and the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council. Since opening on Jan. 6, the mobile center has treated 279 patients. The patients, who are generally 65 years of age or older, were referred by their doctors.
Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White and St. David’s HealthCare are currently referring appropriate patients who have been identified for monoclonal antibody therapy to the regional infusion center. The center will become the primary outpatient infusion clinic for the region, with a goal of providing optimal patient treatment outside of the hospital setting while allowing hospital staff to focus on caring for critical COVID patients. With demonstrated trust and approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the three healthcare systems formed a collaborative effort with the RIC and have combined resources, including a regular supply of monoclonal antibody therapy doses, to treat more patients at the regional infusion center. The three healthcare systems will continue to have the capacity and needed resources to treat a limited number of patients with monoclonal antibody therapy, in the appropriate hospital settings.
The goal of the regional infusion center is to provide timely monoclonal antibody treatments to patients who are most likely to experience severe symptoms from COVID. The treatment jumpstarts the body’s immune response to COVID and is intended to keep patients out of the hospital.
The regional infusion center opened with the capability to treat 9 patients at one time, and it is expanding that capability to treat up to 33 patients simultaneously. With added support provided by the State of Texas, and the partnership of Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White and St. David’s HealthCare, the infusion center will be able to more than triple the number of patients it treats daily. This partnership between state and local entities is intended to help reduce future hospitalizations and more severe COVID cases. RIC leadership will share more information on direct referrals in the future. At this time, the hospital systems will continue to help coordinate referrals from community doctors who have been providing monoclonal antibody therapy to patients to date.