Coronavirus: New Jersey family makes urgent appeal for plasma from recovered COVID-19 patient

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Friday, March 27, 2020
Family makes urgent appeal for plasma from recovered coronavirus patient
A Cherry Hill family needs a blood donation from someone who recovered from COVID-19

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey -- A Cherry Hill, New Jersey family is making an urgent appeal for blood from someone who has recovered from COVID-19.

That person's plasma may help save the life of a devoted husband and father of two.

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Fifty-year-old Brett Breslow is in very critical condition in the ICU at Cooper University Health Care in Camden.

He's on a ventilator and dialysis.

His wife Amy said Brett's condition went downhill Friday in just hours after she took him to the hospital.

"He texted me that they took him back to a room, and that I should go home, and that he loved me. And that's the last time I communicated with him," Amy said.

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Doctors hope antibodies in the plasma, the liquid portion of the blood that doesn't contain blood cells, from a recovered patient will help Breslow's body beat the virus. It's a technique that saved lives in the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Donors have to have tested positive for coronavirus, and be symptom-free for 14 days.

They should say the donation is to be directed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

There are designated donor centers collecting the blood:

  • Vitalant Donor Centers - CLICK HERE.
  • NY Blood Centers - CLICK HERE.

On Tuesday, the FDA approved the use of "convalescent plasma" on a case-by-case basis as a last resort to treat COVID-19 patients.

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It's considered an emergency Investigational New Drug (IND).

In a statement, Cooper said it has applied to the FDA to treat Breslow with COVID-19 convalescent plasma, and "the IND application for Mr. Breslow is currently under consideration at the FDA.".

Although doctors treating coronavirus patients across the U.S. are hopeful for the plasma treatment, Dr. Stephen Trzeciak, the chief of medicine at Cooper noted, "At the present time, there is insufficient scientific evidence about the effects or safety of this therapy."

Dr. Trzeciak, who is also an intensive care specialist, added, "While this is not a standard treatment approach at Cooper, we are sympathetic to the patient and his family and recognize that the FDA is considering authorizations of its investigational use."

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