Texas Latino Conservatives News
Houston - March 28, 2020
Houston Methodist received FDA approval Saturday to become the first academic medical center in the nation to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient. This treatment was fast-tracked to the bedside over the weekend as the death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic soared to more than 2,000 people across the United States, with more than 100,000 Americans sick from the virus.
Houston Methodist physician scientists began recruiting blood plasma donors on Friday from among the approximately 250 patients who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus at Houston Methodist hospitals. Willing donors were immediately identified, who each give a quart of blood plasma in a procedure much like donating whole blood. Plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies made by the immune system and used to kill the virus. Transfusing this antibody-rich plasma into a COVID-19 patient – a patient still fighting the virus - may transfer the power of the antibodies into a healing, possibly life-saving therapy.
The first recovered COVID-19 patient to donate plasma was an individual from the Houston metropolitan area who has been in good health for more than two weeks. The plasma was transfused into a COVID-19 patient on Saturday evening at Houston Methodist Hospital.
Known as convalescent serum therapy, the concept dates back more than a century, when similar treatments were used during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, a diphtheria outbreak in the 1920s, a flesh-eating bacteria epidemic in the 1930s, and during other outbreaks of infectious diseases. While literature abounds on the theory that immunity can be transferred from a healthy individual to a sick individual using convalescent plasma, results have varied. A description of the treatment of five patients in China was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggesting that the treatment was beneficial.