April 7, 2020 / By Conor Ferguson, Cynthia McFadden and Didi Martinez
As patients with COVID-19 continue pouring into emergency departments and intensive care units across the nation, an old treatment that has been adapted for a new disease is being tested in New York.
In the past few days, the Mount Sinai Hospital System has injected more than 20 very sick coronavirus patients with a “convalescent serum” based on the blood plasma of people who have recovered from the disease.
One of the first recovered patients to donate, Danny Riemer, 37, of New Rochelle, New York, said he and his wife feel “blessed” that they are now healthy and can volunteer their plasma to help others. “And despite the fact that we did have the virus, our thoughts are really with others, the people who are still fighting the virus, the people who have had much more serious cases than us,” he said.
Dr. Jeffrey Jhang, medical director of clinical laboratories and transfusion services for the Mount Sinai Health System, said: “We have so many patients who are sick. We are crossing our fingers that this will be a game changer and really accelerate the recovery of these patients.”