Health experts: COVID-19 patients who get antibody-rich plasma have high success of recovering

Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center are playing a key role in fighting the coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Aug 25, 2020, 2:24 AM

Updated 1,332 days ago

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Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center are playing a key role in fighting the coronavirus.
Health experts say that the best way to fight the virus is blood from someone who had COVID-19 previously and recovered – blood that is rich in antibodies.
“I was out. I was in a medically-induced coma. So, apparently, they were calling my wife and telling her that I was not going to make it,” says Karan Omidvari, a 58-year-old COVID-19 survivor.
Omidvari, who is a doctor himself, then received convalescent plasma and two days later he was able to breathe on his own again. Doctors say that nothing else worked – not steroids or hydroxychloroquine or dietetics.
“Until I received the plasma. So, I believe I have faith. It’s the only thing that worked for me,” Omidvari, says.
Omidvari, was part of a study. Patients injected with plasma before going on a ventilator survived almost 88% of the time. Those on ventilators who were treated survived only 53% of the time. Doctors say that the key is to use the plasma as early as possible.
“When they actually are sick and have high fevers, clearly in the viral phase, when we give the plasma they do response very quickly,” says Hackensack Meridian Health Dr. Michele Donato.
Donato runs the plasma program at Hackensack and says that the virus invades the body early on.
“What really makes people very sick is the immune response to that and that happens in the second week of infection. So, then it’s too late. The idea is to block the virus before it causes the damage,” says Donato.
Donato says that doctors at Hackensack are battle-worn, but battle-ready. There is frozen plasma in reserve at the hospital in case there is a surge of new COVID-19 patients. The hospital is still looking for AB type blood, which is the universal donor for plasma.


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