Plasma treatment to be used on COVID-19 patient at St. Vincent’s

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mary O’Neal was hospitalized over a week ago after contracting COVID-19 from her roommate at a nursing home in Baker County, according to her daughter, and she’s currently in the intensive care unit at Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Some doctors are using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat people who have the virus. Carolyn Delp, O’Neal’s daughter, said her 78-year-old mother has been fighting the virus for the past several days.

“I really wouldn’t like to see anybody going through this, but with it being my mom, it’s kind of devastating on me and my kids," Delp said. “At this point, we don’t have any other options and we don’t have anything else to lose.”

Dr. Abubakr Bajwa is a pulmonologist at Ascension St. Vincent’s. He said the experimental treatment is intended for patients who are in serious condition.

“The idea is, once a patient has recovered completely, they develop antibodies to the COVID-19 virus and potentially we can use that plasma with antibodies against the COVID-19 and give it to the patients that are actually suffering with the infection to help with the symptoms and to help with the recovery," he said.

Bajwa said that the treatment has shown positive results in other countries.

“Looking at the recent data that is obviously from the Chinese population where it was used, it looks like it is reasonable to expect that there should be improvement in these patients that are really in a tight spot with the severity of illness," Bajwa said.

Delp said the doctors expect to know the results of the treatment in the next few days.

“I just pray that God has got his hands on the doctors and they continue doing what they’re doing," Delp said. “They’ve been awesome.”

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