First patient in Utah to be treated with plasma after contracting COVID-19 is sent home

Coronavirus Updates

Utah’s first COVID-19 patient to receive a plasma transfusion is now home with her family after being discharged from the hospital.

Cynthia Lemus, 24, was released after getting a convalescent plasma transfusion after testing positive for COVID-19.

“My heart dropped it was like she was walking down the isle again and tears were coming out, it was just amazing, it was a surreal experience, because for such a long time we didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Cynthia’s husband, Moises Lemus.

Doctors say she’s the first patient  in Utah to receive a plasma transfusion with antibodies from someone who recovered from COVID-19.

“This program, sponsored by the FDA and coordinated through the Mayo Clinic with whom we’re partnering continues to evolve and grow, to date we have now transfused 11 patients,” said Dr. Brandon Webb of Intermountain Healthcare.

According to Dr. Brandon Webb, the body generates an immune response which creates more antibodies. The theory is the antibodies attach to the virus particles and neutralize them.

“It’s too early to comment on whether this treatment of COVID-19 is successful,” said Webb.

According to doctors, there are a number of other therapies available to COVID-19 patients and they have an opportunity to be a part of multiple clinical trials.

“We do believe that this is going to be a helpful therapy that’s why we’re investigating it, but it’s an investigational therapy and it requires people and families members to be participants with us,” said Dr. Walter Kelly of American Red Cross, Blood Services.

According to Kelly, one person can help up to three patients with COVID-19. But there are reasons you could be deferred. For more information, visit the American Red Cross website.

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