Coronavirus Fix Helped 'Critically Ill Patients' in China

New York's Mount Sinai Hospital leads the charge in America
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2020 12:50 PM CDT
Doctors Look at Possible Coronavirus Fix: Blood
Staff at a virology lab works on tests of coronavirus on samples at San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia, northern Italy, Thursday, March 26, 2020. The San Matteo hospital is where Patient 1, a 38-year-old Unilever worker named Mattia, was kept since he tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb. 21 and opened Italy’s...   (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP)

A new study supports the notion that blood from recovered coronavirus patients can help others battle the disease, Fox News reports. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it found positive results among five "critically ill" patients in China who received an experimental plasma transfusion. Four of them saw their body temperatures drop to normal within three days, while four resolved their acute respiratory issues within 12 days, and three were off ventilators within two weeks. Three were discharged and two are in stable condition. Such transfusions of "convalescent plasma"—blood plasma of patients who've recovered—have been used to fight other infectious diseases, like Influenza and Ebola, per the New York Times.

Looks like New York state will lead America's use of the experimental treatment. Now, staffers at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan who have recovered from COVID-19 are being asked to donate plasma—but they have to fit exact requirements, like no symptoms for 14 days and high levels of antibodies that battle virus. If all goes well, the treatment could be rolled out "in a matter of weeks," according to an expert quoted in the Washington Post. But it's considered a short-term option while drug companies work on a more rigorous antibody therapy. "None of us sees this as a long-term solution," a Johns Hopkins professor tells the Post. "This is a stopgap, pending availability of more definitive interventions." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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