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Plasma therapy could be “liquid gold” for COVID-19 treatment


Domenico Picinini is alive. Do not take lightly.

The health of the 50-year-old De Kalb county’s population became an issue a few weeks ago. He had a COVID-19.

About two weeks ago, Piccininni walked to Northside Hospital and gave some of his plasma for use by researchers as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Donation is an opportunity to help him.

“We are always told to wash our hands. We need to wash our hearts,” he said. “This is an opportunity to wash my mind.”

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Plasma donations are increasingly used by researchers to treat sick people. The idea is that the injected plasma has antibodies that attack and destroy the infection in current COVID-19 patients. Some people call liquid gold plasma because of its color and value. Actor Tom Hanks, who recovered from COVID-19, posted a photo of his blood plasma on Twitter last week.


Studies differ, however, in their effectiveness.

“We believe this will work, but it hasn’t been proven,” said Dr. Kent Holland, Medical Director of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital.

Emory University is preparing to conduct its own plasma therapy research. Dr Rafi Ahmed, head of Emory’s Vaccine Center, said he hoped to identify donors with the highest neutralizing antibody response. Ahmed said these donors needed plasma that could attack the disease more effectively.

Plasma or convalescent plasma has been used for centuries to treat various diseases. The Netherlands noted that doctors used it in 1918 to treat the Spanish influenza pandemic.

> More: Spanish Influenza: The 1918 Influenza Experience in Georgia Has Similarities to Coronavirus

Donald needs to be removed from the infection for two weeks and tested to make sure he’s sick, Holland said. The plasma is taken to the lab and either frozen or taken to the hospital where it is needed.

The main recipients are patients with severe respiratory disease or high-risk patients.

There are about 50 donors on the North Side, Atlanta Brad Service. About 40 patients received plasma, he said. The Netherlands said it was too early to discuss the results.