Friday, June 05, 2020

Doctor who took Covid-19 at work is the 1st to donate antibodies in df

The possibility of helping patients who are battling Covid-19 motivated doctor Lucas Valente, 29, to donate some of the blood plasma – liquid part of the blood – to an innovative research being conducted in the Federal District. The study will assess how the immune system of a coronavirus-infected patient reacts to antibodies donated by a person who had the disease and recovered. "Coronavirus is a very lonely disease: those who are well, isolate themselves, and those who are sick, are really away from relatives, in an environment foreign to what they are accustomed to. It's very sad," says Valente, who treats critically ill patients admitted to the Santa Maria Regional Hospital (HRSM) and the Asa Norte Regional Hospital (Hran). As it is responsible for anesthetizing patients before intubation, the doctor was at great risk of being contaminated, which was confirmed on April 5, when he manifested the first symptoms. With the positive diagnosis in hand, Valente was removed from office for 21 days. In this time interval, the anesthesiologist had loss of smell and chest pain while breathing deeply. "It was a pain right in the middle of the chest. I even thought it would evolve into something more serious, but that was it," he recalls. In addition to taking care of his own health, he sought to protect people in the condominium where he lives. "I stayed home and went out just to do tests. Before, I warned everyone in the building that it would come down and only pass when the path was cleared," he says. On the afternoon of Thursday (04/06), already in the group of recovered, Valente went to the Hemocentro Foundation of Brasilia to make the donation. The procedure lasted about 90 minutes. The plasma transfusion technique for the treatment of Covid-19 is also being tested in Rio de Janeiro (HemoRio), São Paulo (Albert Einstein and Sírio-Libanês Hospitals), Ribeirão Preto (USP) and Santa Catarina (Hemosc). In the Federal District, the center is a partnership of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Brasília (UnB) with the Hemocentro Foundation of Brasília, the Central Laboratory of the Health Secretariat and the public hospitals of the Federal District. This type of treatment was used in the Ebola and H1N1 epidemics and obtained good results. "Our goal is to see if the infused antibodies will bind to the virus and prevent it from infecting new cells of the person who is sick," explains André Nicola, professor at the University of Brasilia School of Medicine (UnB), who coordinates the research. Until this Thursday (04/06), 189 people recovered from Covid-19 had volunteered to donate plasma. Before collection, volunteers undergo an evaluation to filter out those who can follow the survey. "We need to ensure that the plasma collection process is safe for those who will donate and who they will receive," explains André. In the Federal District, the treatment will be performed with patients from THE HUB and Hran, a reference in the treatment of Covid-19. After receiving the antibodies, patients will undergo daily blood collections. During this period, the researchers will observe the evolution of their health condition. Scientists will gather data that can prove or refute the effectiveness of the method, such as how many patients will need mechanical ventilation, icu admission and how many will have the virus eliminated from the body. The expectation is that the first results will be released in four months. Volunteers need to be covid-19 cured people without showing symptoms for at least 15 days. It is also important that they have not experienced severe manifestations such as septic shock, cardiac arrest, or respiratory intubation due to infection. The two-week period without the symptoms ensures that the donor has the necessary levels of antibodies. "The amount of antibodies produced to fight the virus goes up during the days. The peak occurs after 15 days", explains Alexandre Nonino, executive director of Hemocentro. For the procedure to be performed, the authorization of the patient who will receive the plasma or his/her family members is mandatory. "It is expected that transfusion can prevent the evolution of the condition from severe to critical," Nonino said. In addition to individual benefits, strengthening immunity would decrease the length of stay of patients.
Metropoles - 05/06/2020 News Item translated automatically
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