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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

First Patients In Orlando Treated For COVID-19 With Blood Of Those Who Recovered

Orlando area hospitals have started treating COVID-19 patients with the blood of those who have recovered.
Courtesy: OneBlood
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Orlando area patients are starting to get treated for COVID-19 with the blood of patients who have recovered.

When you get a virus, your body creates antibodies to help fight off that kind of infection if you get it later. The idea behind convalescent plasma is to use someone else’s antibodies to fight COVID-19.

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Convalescent plasma has shown promise as an early treatment for SARS, MERS and EBOLA before a vaccine could be developed.

Orlando Health confirmed that a patient started convalescent plasma treatment Wednesday night at Orlando Regional Medical Center, although further details aren’t immediately available.

Separately, AdventHealth is looking to begin the therapy. Dr. Eduardo Oliveira, the executive medical director at AdventHealth Orlando, said there are three or four patients who are candidates in the intensive care unit right now.

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“But we’re now lining up donors, obtaining and collecting blood products and plasma, and just waiting for the right match,”  Oliveira said. “We currently have three or four patients in the ICU we’re trying to match their blood type with the plasma being donated.”

AdventHealth has about 50 COVID-19 patients at the moment – and the majority are on ventilators to help them breath.“We’re using it in critically ill patients, but we’re trying to use it earlier in their disease process,” Oliveira said. “So yes, primarily it’s gonna be used on patients who are mechanically ventilated in the ICU.”

Donors have to be recovered from COVID-19 for at least 15 days to give plasma. Click here for more.

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Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.