Patterico's Pontifications

4/3/2020

Hopeful: Doctors Use Blood Plasma From Recovered COVID-19 Patients To Help Sick Patients

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:03 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Old method used in new effort to help patients sick with coronavirus:

St. Joseph Hospital in Orange completed its first blood transfer Wednesday from a recovered COVID-19 patient to a patient sick with the disease. It joins a handful of hospitals across the nation experimenting with transferring blood plasma in the hope that antibodies from a recovered patient will attack the virus and help a sick person heal.

Dr. Timothy Byun, who led the transfer, says he believes St. Joseph is the first hospital on the West Coast to try this experimental treatment.

In mid-March, Jason Garcia, a 36-year-old San Diego man, was diagnosed with COVID-19. Just a week ago, he made a full recovery and was released from isolation by San Diego County’s health department.

He posted his triumph on Facebook and that’s when a friend told him that St. Joseph Hospital was looking for a recovered patient’s blood plasma. So on April 1, Garcia drove up to Orange and donated his plasma.

That same day, the plasma was transferred into an intubated patient who’s in the hospital’s intensive care unit, Dr. Byun said.

One plasma donation can be used for three patients. The hospital plans to do the second and third transfers soon.

Background on how the treatment came about:

The very first Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded in 1901 to Emil von Behring for his life-saving work developing a cure for diphtheria, a bacterial infection that was particularly fatal in children. His groundbreaking treatment, known as diphtheria antitoxin, worked by injecting sick patients with antibodies taken from animals who had recovered from the disease.

Von Behring’s antitoxin wasn’t a vaccine, but the earliest example of a treatment method called “convalescent plasma” that’s being resurrected as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is blood plasma extracted from an animal or human patient who has “convalesced” or recovered from infection with a particular disease.

“Convalescent plasma has been used throughout history when confronting an infectious disease where you have people who recover and there’s no other therapy available,” says Warner Greene, director of the Center for HIV Cure Research at the Gladstone Institutes. “There must be something in their plasma—i.e. an antibody—that helped them recover.”

How the treatment, which was also used during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, works:

Convalescent plasma interacts differently with the immune system than a vaccine. When a person is treated with a vaccine, their immune system actively produces its own antibodies that will kill off any future encounters with the target pathogen. That’s called active immunity.

Convalescent plasma offers what’s called “passive immunity.” The body doesn’t create its own antibodies, but instead “borrows” them from another person or animal who has successfully fought off the disease. Unlike a vaccine, the protection doesn’t last a lifetime, but the borrowed antibodies can greatly reduce recovery times and even be the difference-maker between life and death.

“Convalescent plasma is the crudest of the immunotherapies, but it can be effective,” says Greene.

Doctors are stressing that this treatment would not replace a vaccine but would serve as a “stopgap” measure.

According to Dr. Arturo Casadevall, of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore:

In addition to public health containment and mitigation protocols, this may be our only near-term option for treating and preventing COVID-19. And it is something we can start putting into place in the next few weeks and months.

–Dana

56 Responses to “Hopeful: Doctors Use Blood Plasma From Recovered COVID-19 Patients To Help Sick Patients”

  1. It would be so wonderful if this worked with sick patients until a vaccine is developed. With that, I went ahead and changed the post title to: Hopeful: Doctors Use Blood Plasma From Recovered COVID-19 Patients To Help Sick Patients. I hope that sits better with you.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  2. No one should say this is an experiment. It’s a known fact this sort of thing works. It would be a great surprise if it does not.

    It’s extremely skilled and compliclated.

    Sammy Finkelman (694340)

  3. It’s being called an “experiment” because it is the first time that it is being used to specifically treat COVID-19 patients, Sammy. But yes, it has been tried and true with other infectious diseases.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  4. Thanks, Dana.
    Great news and more lives will be saved.

    mg (8cbc69)

  5. We’re going to have the usual fight about how it sucks that people like me can’t donate in this way, *and* overall if this helps, it’s a good thing we should be doing more of.

    aphrael (7962af)

  6. Quey. Is there a way to use DNA technology to create more of the antibodies in the plasma artifically? Then you don’t need a stream of donors, just multiple the antibodies from one or a few.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  7. 6. The way you create antibodies in blood plasma is…wait for it…by inducing immunity. The ways to do that are to either infect someone via inoculation or vaccination. I am unaware of any successful attempts to synthesize human immunoglobins. To use someone else’s immunoglobins in any circumstance is a desperate, last-ditch effort that will most likely meet with mixed results at best.

    Gryph (08c844)

  8. Cuomo Announces Highest Single-Day Increase in N.Y. Coronavirus Hospitalizations and Deaths

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  9. The way you create antibodies in blood plasma is…wait for it…by inducing immunity. The ways to do that are to either infect someone via inoculation or vaccination.

    OR you do what has been done in the reported piece. You don’t “induce” anything.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  10. They make artificial insulin. Sure they could create antibodies. Several years for FDA approval on top of 6 to 12 months maybe to invent.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  11. 9. What has been done in the reported piece is not synthesis of antibodies. It’s using antibodies from someone else’s plasma, which in turn got there by being infected, inoculated, or vaccinated. As I said upthread, I am unaware of any success in actually synthesizing antibodies outside of inducing immunity. That doesn’t necessarily mean it hasn’t happened, just that I am unaware if it has. We’re not talking about synthesizing endocrine hormones here; a person’s immune system is essentially part of a genetic fingerprint.

    Gryph (08c844)

  12. 10. Antibodies != hormones. They can synthesize a lot of endocrine hormones including insulin, thyroxin, adrenaline, cortisol, Etc. Synthesizing antibodies independently of an immune response is a whole different ballgame.

    Gryph (08c844)

  13. The way you create antibodies in blood plasma is…wait for it…by inducing immunity. The ways to do that are to either infect someone via inoculation or vaccination.

    No, that is called a vaccine: a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

    Until you have a…vaccine…this is one of the most successful historic treatments of a novel infection.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  14. What has been done in the reported piece is not synthesis of antibodies. It’s using antibodies from someone else’s plasma, which in turn got there by being infected, inoculated, or vaccinated. As I said upthread, I am unaware of any success in actually synthesizing antibodies outside of inducing immunity.

    Which means that they’re recovered from people who have been sick. A vaccine is for keeping people from becoming sick.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  15. 13. 14. I’m not sure where this pedantry is coming from. My point in bringing this all up is that without people getting sick, we don’t have antibodies to take from their plasma. Clearly, if a vaccine existed, it would be far preferable to tapping people for their plasma. That’s all I’m saying.

    What I’d like to know is if it’s possible to take antibodies from the plasma of asymptomatic carriers. That would require serological testing.

    Gryph (08c844)

  16. The way you create antibodies in blood plasma is…wait for it…by inducing immunity. The ways to do that are to either infect someone via inoculation or vaccination.

    And you used the word “pedantry”. Ironic.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  17. Synthetic antibodies are a 25 year old technology. There are lots of them on the market; their name ends in mab like rituximab used in lymphomas, trastuzumab for breast cancer, infliximab for ulcerative colitis, and the psoriatic arthritis drug that’s on TV every five minutes. Making the first molecule of these meds is quite a process, but after that many are madie in yeast cells like making beer.
    Viruses have multiple things (epitopes) that the immune system recognizes. If one of these is critical to the virus, a targeted antibody would very useful. However, let’s remember that the antibodies in recovered patients may simply be markers of recovery rather than agents of recovery. AntiHIV antibodies do little, not nothing but little, to slow disease progression. Herpes antibodies won’t keep you from outbreaks of sores on your lip or in a worse spot.
    There are doing to be a thousand announcements from earnest medical scientists about this disease. Ten or eleven or so will turn out useful in the long run. That is just the way things work.

    Fred (c46b99)

  18. 17. Thank you, Fred. I said I was not aware of such, and now I am.

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. infliximab for ulcerative colitis,

    Hold on there. That’s an immunosuppressant, not a synthetic antibody.

    This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
    Risk of serious infection warning: Infliximab may decrease your immune system’s ability to fight infections. Some people develop serious infections while taking this drug. These may include tuberculosis (TB) or other infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Don’t take infliximab if you have any kind of infection without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor may check you for symptoms of infections before, during, and after your treatment with infliximab. Your doctor may also test you for TB before starting infliximab.

    Kishnevi (9dfc8c)

  20. 17. Yup…I looked it up, Fred. The -mab is a reference immunosuppressants, not immunostimulants. Nice try, though. I am still not aware of any therapeutic synthetic antibodies.

    Gryph (08c844)

  21. Intravenous immune globulins (IVIG) and subcutaneous immune globulins (SCIG) are used to treat a wide range of diseases including immune deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, Guillain-Barre Syndrome and other neurological diseases. This is basically the same thing except IVIG/SCIG are typically made by pooling blood from hundreds or thousands of donors, while this would probably be drawn from fewer donors.

    There are risks, of course. You can have an allergic reaction to getting blood products. You can get diseases. And the half-life is 28 days with a big boost at first that tapers off. In addition, there are efforts to try to clean IVIG/SCIG to prevent transfer of viruses, IgA, and other blood components that can be harmful. I don’t know how that would be done with this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  22. I just read that diphtheria antitoxin serum is now grown in and harvested from horses. I wonder if we can do the same thing with President Trump’s coronavirus and dogs or pigs.

    nk (1d9030)

  23. For awhile, they used gamma globulin to try to immunjze (called passive immunity) people against polio, but it was inconsistent and only lasted a few weeks. It was better than nothing, though. My mother was exposed to polio when she was pregnant with me. This was before the polio vaccine and so they gave her a gamma globulin shot.

    There have been many efforts to manufacture synthetic immune globulins because they are used to treat many diseases and require a lot of blood to make, so they are expensive and often in short supply. There have been reports of possible breakthroughs but, to my knowledge, none have worked.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. Someone could try using IVIG to treat the inflammation/cytokine storms reported with Covid-19. Immune globulins can act as immune modulators as well as supplying antibodies, which is why they are useful in autoimmune disorders.

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. From my passive immunity link, above:

    Monoclonal Antibodies Increasingly, technology is being used to generate monoclonal antibodies (MAbs)– “mono” meaning that they are a pure, single type of antibody targeted at a single site on a pathogen, and “clonal” because they are produced from a single parent cell. These antibodies have wide-ranging potential applications to infectious disease and other types of diseases.

    Monoclonal antibodies were first created by researchers Cesar Milstein, PhD (1927-2002), and Georges Kohler, PhD (1946-1995), who combined short-lived antibody-producing mouse spleen cells (which had been exposed to a certain antigen) with long-lived mouse tumor cells. The combined cells produced antibodies to the targeted antigen. Milstein and Kohler won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery in 1984.

    To date, only one MAb treatment is commercially available for the prevention of an infectious disease. This is a MAb preparation for the prevention of severe disease caused by RSV in high-risk infants. Physicians are also increasingly using MAbs to combat noninfectious diseases, such as certain types of cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.

    Scientists are researching other new technologies for producing antibodies in the laboratory, such as recombinant systems using yeast cells or viruses and systems combining human cells and mouse cells, or human DNA and mouse DNA.

    Bioterror threats In the event of the deliberate release of an infectious biological agent, biosecurity experts have suggested that passive immunization could play a role in emergency response. The advantage of using antibodies rather than vaccines to respond to a bioterror event is that antibodies provide immediate protection, whereas a protective response generated by a vaccine is not immediate and in some cases may depend on a booster dose given at a later date.

    Candidates for this potential application of passive immunization include botulinum toxin, tularemia, anthrax, and plague. For most of these targets, only animal studies have been conducted, and so the use of passive immunization in potential bioterror events is still in experimental stages.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. Antibodies derived from animals are also discussed at that link, nk.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Another possible treatment? Ivermectin. This is used in veterinary medicine. DO NOT TRY THIS. There are dosing and other issues, and it can be dangerous.

    DRJ (15874d)

  28. A timely book: Who’s in Charge? Leadership During Epidemics, Bioterror, Attacks, and Other Public Health Crises By Laura H. Kahn.

    Excerpt:

    Leadership is critical for responding to disease crises. Whether an epidemic spreads naturally or through bioterrorism, any crisis can pose difficult challenges for leaders. Novel pathogens, such as the avian influenza or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, are particularly problematic because of the initial absence of scientific information about them. Leaders might need input from physicians, veterinarians, public health officials, scientists, economists, lawyers, and ethicists to make effective decisions.
    Even with such expert advice, officials might not fully anticipate the implications of various response policies. For example, people’s economic interests might lead them to oppose neighborhood quarantines, food bans, or the slaughter of livestock. In some severe cases, policies can have unintended consequences, such as protest demonstrations and suicides. For example, during the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease crisis in the United Kingdom, veterinarians protested the cruel livestock-slaughtering policies, and some farmers committed suicide because they were overwhelmed by the loss of their herds.

    Officials might not fully understand their own roles and responsibilities if these have not been clearly articulated in public health or disaster response laws, policies, or procedures. In the United States, leadership is decentralized and crisis responses are primarily state and local government responsibilities. States vary considerably in…

    Dana (4fb37f)

  29. I’ve posted this on this site before. Distributed Bio has developed antibody therapeutics – since the following video was published two weeks ago – it’s been sent to USAMRIID for testing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvfulLdrND0

    Mo Hawk (6c01b3)

  30. “It is unbelievable to me that in New York State, in the United States of America, we cannot make these materials, and that we are all shopping China to try get these materials, and we are competing against each other.”
    —— Andrew Cuomo – April 3rd press conference

    What price will we end up paying for outsourcing our manufacturing, which was destroyed by companies subsidized by their government? What is the true price of global free trade? Not just in the scarcity of what is needed in this country, but what it did to the middle class jobs created to produce them? I’ve heard figures of up to 90% of the base ingredients used in our most common drugs, including antibiotics. What is going to happen if/when they turn off the pipeline?

    I don’t see the free-traders defending their position right now, let alone apologizing. I doubt we ever will. And Cuomo is beholden to his overlords in private equity who’ve made much of this possible. Look in the mirror, Andy.

    Mo Hawk (6c01b3)

  31. I don’t see the free-traders defending their position right now, let alone apologizing. I doubt we ever will.

    I’m a vigorous free trade advocate, and you’re right about never hearing an apology from someone who understands the concept. There’s none to give.

    From Adam Smith on down, nobody advocating free trade has failed to note exceptions for strategic goods needed to maintain national security.

    OTOH, we have demi tyrants like Duh Donald lying about them as a pretext for his stupid tariffs and other picking-the-winners crap.

    So I’ll take liberty to use my property and trade with those I chose over a planned economy a la T-rump.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  32. From Adam Smith on down, nobody advocating free trade has failed to note exceptions for strategic goods needed to maintain national security.

    LOL. Maybe they never failed to note exceptions. But implement controls over those exceptions? Not so much. Exhibit A – China controls worldwide production of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

    Mo Hawk (6c01b3)

  33. LOL. Maybe they never failed to note exceptions. But implement controls over those exceptions? Not so much. Exhibit A – China controls worldwide production of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

    LOL. Says you. You missed the part about abuses of “controls” by lying pygmies like The Orange Raccoon, and electing to maintain liberty.

    LOL.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  34. Oh, so this situation didn’t exist until Trump was elected? It’s Orange Raccoon Bad!

    It’s obvious why you brought Trump into the conversation – it’s all you got.

    Mo Hawk (6c01b3)

  35. LOL. Nope, this “situation” has existed for centuries, well before the founding.

    I brought up the abuses by Duh Donald because he’s the boob-in-office, AND his lies are particularly egregious.

    If you want, I’ll waltz you down history…like a rag doll. Your choice.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  36. If you want, I’ll waltz you down history…like a rag doll. Your choice.

    By all means, do! I have noticed from your comments on this blog that you are an expert on everything, so I look forward to being educated by the best.

    Mo Hawk (6c01b3)

  37. Unlike you, I do know what I’m talking about when I comment. Otherwise, I keep mum.

    You raised a challenge; I responded politely. You got defensive. OK.

    The history of the evolution of market economics and its amazing benefits to mankind in a remarkably short time, AND its consonance with the principles of freedom and property rights is perhaps something I’d waste my time trying to impart to you.

    So, again, I’ll take liberty over a controlled economy any day. You, obviously, feel the obverse is for you.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  38. I have known Dr. Casadevall for a number of years now. He is the husband of a good friend of mine. He is the real deal. He becomes interested in things and then generates a huge amount of energy.

    Here is his website:

    https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/3126/arturo-casadevall

    A nice interview:

    https://youtu.be/tLa1Tl7t-Vo

    Here is a lecture I like to give students to watch:

    https://youtu.be/KhC-nZWiiGA

    He is trained as a fungal biologist and immunologist (working on interesting aspects of fungal diseases in humans), but has wonderful training and a forceful personality. So he decided that this was worth pursuing…and made it happen. Nice article from Johns Hopkins.

    https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/13/covid-19-antibody-sera-arturo-casadevall/

    Convalescent sera is being tested right now. So fingers crossed. It has worked for many diseases in the past.

    Simon Jester (6067ca)

  39. Thank you, very much for those links, Simon.

    felipe (023cc9)

  40. Good idea, but they could manufacture and use artificial antibodies and only regulatory
    authorities stand in the way, and therefore in favor of this more limited in scale, primitive and more dangerous method.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  41. People shouldn’t talk like that what comes along, weeks later than it could have, is, in any way, the very best idea. The media misinform people if they do.

    And they need to slow down on the ventilators!

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  42. Sammy, I have argued biology with you in the past and it is a waste of time.

    You are welcome to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. I have training in this area and you do not. I mean you no disrespect. But you need to not do this, right now. This is a critical time. Arguments like you are making—not based on fact, but your outsider opinions about regulation, the biotech industry, as well as feasibility of techniques in molecular biology—do not help. Again, your opinion is fine. But PLEASE come at it as an amateur, and someone without training or expertise in these areas.

    Terms like “primitive” and “dangerous”—when I can guarantee you have little knowledge of this topic—can harm people trying to find solutions, by giving other people the idea you are an expert.

    I really don’t like interacting with you in general because of this. I wish you the best, but please quit trying to sound like an expert. Instead, pay attention to what folks like Casadevall have been doing. And listen to the virologists who have I linked to several times.

    I am sorry to be grumpy, but this really irritates me. There are people I know working 18 hour days trying to find solutions. To see their hard work dismissed by someone without any training is difficult to hear, right now.

    Simon Jester (6067ca)

  43. And *this* is why like posting less and less here.

    Best wishes to all.

    Simon Jester (6067ca)

  44. Storm going to hit the New York City area or Long Island tomorrow with enormous amount of rain and south winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph expected ..gale force winds

    Temperatures to be around 68 degrees. Now 54 degrees.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  45. Simon Jester,

    Excellent links at 39. Question: What danger, if any, is posed to current patients receiving the antibodies of a recovered patient, if that recovered patient later tests positive again (per reports) and it’s not known whether the virus was reactivated or the recovered donor was reinfected?

    Dana (0feb77)

  46. 43. Maybe I come on too strong and maybe that comes off like I am too much of an expert. I don’t mean to. I’m only a good reader. But there’s not all that much to understand. Even without knowing that much biochemistry. But I ma not have read thoroughly enough.

    Simon Jester (6067ca) — 4/12/2020 @ 3:59 pm

    Terms like “primitive” and “dangerous”—when I can guarantee you have little knowledge of this topic—can harm people trying to find solutions, by giving other people the idea you are an expert.

    I didn’t say it was bad.

    I didn’t say It wouldn’t work.

    And I meant it was primitive compared to this:

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/06/glaxosmithkline-and-vir-aim-to-take-on-covid-19-with-antibodies-and-crispr

    https://news.yahoo.com/synthetic-antibodies-might-offer-a-quick-coronavirus-treatment-132122036.html

    One question I have: That is SARS1. This is SARS 2. Maybe both viruses have that antigen. But pretty soon they’ll have a better antibody – otherwise a vaccine for SARS should work against Covid-19 too. Does it, in fact?

    And I did;;t say it was dangerous. I said it was a “more dangerous method.”

    Compared to synthetic antibodies because the blood plasma could contain other infections.

    Note: I see in a link I found thanks to you telling me to look, they do try to take care of this (more than with standard blood transfusions.

    https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/13/covid-19-antibody-sera-arturo-casadevall

    In this case, physicians would ask patients who recover from COVID-19 to donate their blood, from which sera would be isolated. After processing the serum and removing other toxins or trace illnesses, it can be injected into sick patients and those at risk of contracting the disease. The procedure for isolating serum or plasma is a long-established technology that can be performed using equipment normally found in hospitals and blood-banking facilities, and recent advances make it as safe as a blood transfusion, Casadevall says.

    I think what;s being described is safer than a blood transfusion because this attempt to remove things from other illnesses doesn’t, I think, usually happen.

    When my father got blood transfusions in 1998-9 in NYU every so often I think he was hit by something that had an infection.

    While the artificial antibodies will have none.

    I can’t see any argument why convalescent plasma is better than synthetic antibodies except maybe you don’t know what antibodies to use. But tat’s still a bit random. Maybe one batch will be really good, and something from another patient will not be so good. I suppose they could mix things from different patients. The article isn’t clear.

    I said the convalescent plasma wasn’t the very best idea, and that it took long even to do this, and I can add there was very little reason before that to doubt this would work (unless maybe done improperly)

    I can’t think of a single reason why this would work with several other infections, and not with this. And I don;t think Casadevali would have any reason for doubt, either. Excet maybe some big surprise to him, but the odds of that are small..

    pay attention to what folks like Casadevall have been doing.

    What’s there to argue with? Nothing, except that, in principle there are better ideas and this really can’t be scaled up, and the other things should have been pushed by the U.S. government.

    Not that they shouldn’t do this while that’s the best they can

    And listen to the virologists who have I linked to several times.

    That’s maybe a problem for me from this home computer.

    I am sorry to be grumpy, but this really irritates me. There are people I know working 18 hour days trying to find solutions. To see their hard work dismissed by someone without any training is difficult to hear, right now.

    They can work hard, but there may be some better ideas out there. Maybe not so ready to be adopted I also said there’s no reason to have any doubts and this shouldn’t have taken so long.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  47. I read that a form of dialysis can be used to get rid of SARS2 viruses. So that could happen wth the plasma, too. They cured one person once in Germany from ebola with dialysis.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  48. Simon, he is well-meaning. Read this comment.

    DRJ (15874d)

  49. Well, maybe a little bit sorry to get back to this (but I shouldn’t be – it’s news ad I have to tell people) but the New York Post today (Monday) has a front page story, with names and pictures of four blood donors, about survivors of COVID-19 donating blood “so that their coronavirus-fighting antibodies can be transfused into desperately ill patients” (quote not in the story – included in a separate two paragraph box on thhe front page)

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/12/heroes-of-the-day-coronavirus-survivors-give-blood-to-help-others/

    When you read the details, though, you see, this is slow going.

    Number of people who have answered Mount Sinai’s calls for donations from survivors; 22,000

    Number who have been tested to see if they have the antibodies: 2,500 approximately.

    Number of donors identified: 130 and counting.. (that’s all?)

    Number of blood donations made: Unknown but not zero.

    Number of patients transfused: No indication in the article the number is other than 0.

    Earlier stories about Mount Sinai Hospital and convalescent plasma:

    https://www.mountsinai.org/about/newsroom/2020/new-blood-tests-for-antibodies-could-show-true-scale-of-coronavirus-pandemic-gretchen-vogel-itn

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/26/doctor-asks-recovered-coronavirus-patients-to-be-tested-for-antibodies

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  50. There are places using convalescent plasma in clinical trials, including in New York, and also for for compassionate use in areas where there are no clinical trials. It was used in my area for compassionate use last week.

    DRJ (15874d)

  51. DRJ @51 This Forbes news article dated 3 weeks ago (Monday March 23) says:

    In a clinical trial to begin Tuesday, blood plasma with coronavirus antibodies will be tested for use on critically ill coronavirus patients, which Cuomo said has shown promising preliminary results in stimulating the immune system against the disease. (They have yet to disclose their corporate pharmaceutical partner.)

    This doesn’t tell you where, if anywhere, patients are/were given this.

    What does this mean “tested for use?” Not tested on? Now Governor Cuomo is clearly interested in this.

    I found this March 26 New York Times story where it says “will be given”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/health/plasma-coronavirus-treatment.html

    And tis is Mount Sinai Hospital. Where apparently nothing has happened so far.

    A quote from the article:

    “It’s kind of difficult scientifically to know how valuable it is in any disease until you try,” said Dr. David L. Reich, president and chief operating officer of the Mount Sinai Hospital, which will be using the treatment. “It’s not exactly a shot in the dark, but it’s not tried and true.”

    Dr. Reich said it would be tried as a treatment for hospitalized patients who had a moderate form of the disease and had trouble breathing, but not for those who are in advanced stages of the disease.

    They are really looking for success than can report, than saving lives. It’s not on whom an earlier article said it should be used on:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/hospitals-in-nyc-will-start-testing-therapy-using-plasma-of-those-infected (quotng from some earlier unlinked (?) article

    But the big issue here is scaling, as plasma treatment relies on having enough healthy, formerly infected individuals who are willing to donate blood plasma. If used strategically—on the most at-risk patients, or to help infected health care professionals—it could be a helpful tool but isn’t likely an effective general therapy.

    That article from ars technica, dated March 27, says several hospitals are going to do it:

    Several New York City hospitals are planning a joint test of plasma transfusions as a therapy, relying on the large and growing population of formerly infected people in the area. Initially, it will be tested in those who are suffering COVID-19 symptoms who require hospitalization but who have not progressed to severe breathing impairment. The Food and Drug Administration approved the research on Tuesday.

    The plan is to use the New York Blood Center, which normally coordinates blood, platelet, and bone marrow donations, as a sort of clearing house for the plasma. It will obtain it from donors and screen it for additional infections before approving it for use. (As a side benefit, this may help us better understand how long after infection the coronavirus persists in individuals.) The Blood Center will also ensure that the plasma has high titers of antibodies against the coronavirus.

    No names of any hospitals given.

    I think this could still be in the planning stages. Your link doesn’t settle whether this was yet done in New York. Or was it done unannounced? (the fact that the plural of the word hospitals was used gives some hope that it was.)

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  52. * They (the people in charge at Mount Sinai hospital in New York] are really looking for success that they can can report, rather than saving lives.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  53. This might be interesting – alluded to by Mark Simone this morning on WOR radio 710 Am – or misleading, and anon-story.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/nyc-hospital-leaders-are-in-florida-as-workers-fight-virus-2020-4

    As NYC healthcare workers battle the coronavirus, 2 top Mount Sinai execs are reportedly waiting out the crisis in their Florida vacation homes

    …Subscribe

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    As NYC healthcare workers battle the coronavirus, 2 top Mount Sinai execs are reportedly waiting out the crisis in their Florida vacation homes
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    Dr. Kenneth DavisDr. Kenneth Davis
    Dr. Kenneth Davis, 72, is the CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System. Rob Kim/FilmMagic / Getty Images
    Two executives from Mount Sinai Health Systems, one of New York City’s most prominent hospital networks, are reportedly sheltering in Palm Beach, Florida, as their hospitals up north overflow with coronavirus patients and victims.
    New York City is now the epicenter of the virus in the United States, with over 45,000 cases and at least 1,500 reported deaths as of April 3.
    New York State Nurses Association Union President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez slammed the absent leaders, questioning how they could “inspire confidence” in their employees when they are “1,000 miles away.”
    Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
    Two of the Mount Sinai Health System’s top executives are riding out the coronavirus pandemic down in Florida, as their hospitals up north weather medical supply shortages and rising death tolls, report Melissa Klein and Beth Landman of the New York Post.

    Dr. Kenneth Davis, 72, the CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System, and Dr. Arthur Klein, 72, president of the Mount Sinai Health Network, are both sheltering near Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Post. Dr. Davis is thought to have been in his waterfront $2.6 million, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion since at least early March. It is not known how long Dr. Klein has been in Florida, but the Post reports that he is staying at his oceanfront condo down in Palm Beach.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  54. I was looking for this. I didn’t realize this was posted on Friday, April 3. There’s a gap here of over a week between #37 and #38.

    My first comment, #41 was made on April 12 at 3:41 pm Patterico (Pacific) time.

    I figured how to turn on captions, but this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhC-nZWiiGA&feature=youtu.be

    doesn’t have captions.

    I plugged in a headphone in the right socket, and the computer’s messages helped make it clear thhat the other one was for a mike, and it seems to work except for two problems:

    1) The earphone is bit broken – hard to stay plugged in. I need to keep my finger on the cord and press it in. (I can replace when I go out if that store is open. Or find another.)

    2) I’ve got two different YouTube videos running at the same time.

    Maybe by next week.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

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