Florida coronavirus patient emerges from coma over Easter after plasma treatment, report says

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A Florida man with COVID-19 emerged from a medical coma on Easter Sunday – a few days after receiving plasma donated by someone who recovered from the virus, according to a local report.

A few days after that, Michael Kevin Rathel was removed from the ventilator and breathing on his own, Fox 35 reported.

“We are in a very different place than it was 24 hours ago,” his wife Stacie told the chain on Wednesday after speaking to her husband on FaceTime. “He even made jokes with the nurses. So I thought, OK yeah, he’s back. “

Orlando Health doctors initially put him on a ventilator and into a medical coma on April 4, the report said. He received plasma therapy four days later.

“The donor had the right type of blood to allow his plasma to be donated to Kevin. Things have aligned as we might have hoped, “said Dr. George Ralls, vice president of quality and clinical transformation for Orlando Health.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the plasma treatment on March 24 and hospital officials said it could be given on a case-by-case basis.

Blood transfusion centers and hospitals across the country ask people who have recovered from coronavirus to donate their plasma to help treat seriously ill patients.

NY BLOOD CENTER ASKS FOR PLASMA DONATIONS FROM COVID-19 RECOVERED PATIENTS

“This is something that anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 should know about,” said Dr. Ralls. “The goal is to have enough plasma in inventory, so we don’t have to rely on a one-on-one connection. as we did in this case. We need to have an inventory of plasma that can be used by patients, wherever they are. “

Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days, then test negative for the virus, according to Orlando Health. A single donation can treat two to three patients.

“In treatment, called convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor plasma to use the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more quickly and reduce the need for ICU beds and ventilators,” said the New York Blood Center. in a statement to Fox News earlier this month.

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According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States exceeded 640,000 Thursday morning, and more than 31,000 people died from COVID-19. Over 53,000 people have recovered.

As for Rathel, his wife told Fox 35 that he could be removed from intensive care as early as Thursday – but he has not yet fully recovered.

James Rogers of Fox News contributed to this report.

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