SALT LAKE CITY– When Cynthia and Moises Lemus evaluated positive for COVID-19, the young couple wasn’t too concerned for their own health however for that of their relative.
But over the next few days, their fever and other symptoms quickly became so serious they understood they required to go to the emergency clinic.
” When we went to the emergency room and we both got taken a look at, the doctor simply was available in and informed me, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to need to keep Cynthia, because her oxygen levels are really not at the level where they need to be at. … It actually terrified me,” Moises Lemus, of Magna, remembered.
That was 16 days ago as of Tuesday. He hasn’t been able to be with her ever since, though he has actually seen her twice through videoconference.
” The last 15 days have actually been the hardest days of my life, the hardest days of all of our family’s life. Not being able to be there and understand what’s going on,” Lemus stated.
” I can’t hold Cynthia’s hand, which is the most disastrous thing to me to assist her survive it.”
Throughout her time hospitalized, 24- year-old Cynthia Lemus, a flight attendant, has actually been in critical condition and linked to a ventilator. Physicians have tried speculative treatments that haven’t assisted much, Lemus said, but on Friday brand-new hope can be found in the form of another treatment.
She became the very first to receive a plasma infusion contributed by somebody who has actually recovered from COVID-19 Intermountain Healthcare on Tuesday officially announced the launch of the plasma treatment for those with the most severe cases.
The effort belongs to a national investigative treatment protocol launched by the U.S. Fda. The Mayo Center and American Red Cross belong to the collaboration.
The infection damages tissues throughout the body– not just the lungs.
” The more virus that remains in the body, the more chance to trigger damage to tissues. Antibodies neutralize infection particles, therefore when a client is infected with any infection, the immune system triggers, forms antibodies that then reduce the effects of the infection,” stated Dr. Brandon Webb, chairman of Intermountain’s COVID-19 Therapeutics group.
” The premise for this new treatment is that when a patient is infected with a virus, the body mounts an immune action and makes antibodies to that virus. Those antibodies are not present in the population when there is a brand-new illness like COVID-19 Therefore the majority of people do not have antibodies that provide defense versus this brand-new virus,” Webb stated.
The hope is that antibodies in the blood of those who have recovered will assist clients fighting the illness.
No randomized control trials have actually taken place on the treatment, suggesting there’s limited evidence of its efficiency. However physicians think it could assist. About 200 clients in the nation have actually currently gotten the treatment and are being monitored.
Although the treatment hasn’t been shown, “we’re just really hopeful right now that will help her and get her back to us,” Lemus said. “Everybody who’s recovered from it, we can unite and really assist individuals who require that aid.”
Cynthia Lemus received a plasma contribution from the Mayo Center. In the past 48 hours, she had actually enhanced, although she remained in crucial condition on Tuesday, Webb said.
Officials are advising those who had favorable test results for COVID-19 and have actually recovered to contribute. Each donor can assist up to four clients.
Patients need to fit basic blood donor requirements, be at least 18 years of ages and be completely recovered, preferably for a minimum of 28 days. In restricted circumstances, those who have actually been recuperated for 14 days will be admitted. They likewise require lab evidence they had the infection.
The contributions can be made by appointment only, and are taken just at Red Cross blood donation centers. Those who are interested are encouraged to go to redcrossblood.org to sign up.
A varied pool of donors is needed because, like blood contributions, plasma needs to be matched to the recipient, authorities stated. As the donor pool grows, the treatment needs to appear in other healthcare systems in Utah.
Now, it is being provided based upon severity of disease and blood type.
The Utah Department of Health reported four more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state’s toll to 32 on Tuesday.
All 4 deaths were over age 60, were hospitalized when they passed away and had underlying medical conditions, said Dr. Angela Dunn, epidemiologist with the state health department. 2 were residents of a Salt Lake County long-term care facility where an outbreak has actually been investigated, another was likewise a Salt Lake County resident, and the fourth lived in Weber County.
The new deaths indicate half of the deaths in Utah have been people contaminated while living in long-term care centers.
” And this number, while awful, it might be a lot higher as we have actually seen in other states where a single long-lasting care facility outbreak has actually resulted in more deaths than this,” Dunn said.
She stated long-term care facility staff members in Utah have actually prepared since January to quickly identify cases and limitation spread.
” And they are doing a fantastic job, and I really wish to acknowledge the long-term care facility personnel out there whose job is more stressful now than ever, and yet so crucial to safeguarding this really susceptible population. They’re protecting not just the health of their homeowners however likewise their psychological health well-being as families aren’t enabled to check out,” Dunn said.
Dunn stated officials are now working on a plan to perform “more proactive” screening of centers that don’t yet have actually understood cases.
The number of positive cases grew by 83 over Monday’s report, for an overall of 3,296 people contaminated out of 72,358 checked. The firm’s day-to-day report shows an extra 4,047 tests had been carried out. The positive rate has decreased to 4.5%.
” We are seeing actually favorable things in our numbers that are an indication that we’re flattening the curve. Therefore that means it’s a lot more essential for us to continue doing this up until we start seeing a reduction so that when we can open up the economy, we do not see a surge in cases again,” Dunn said.
” So even though it may feel safe today, it feels safe due to the fact that we have actually been adhering to social distancing limitations, and we really simply require to persevere so that we can keep this pattern dropping in a downward pattern.”
A breakdown of Utah COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by health district:
- Salt Lake County, 1,714; 149 hospitalized; 18 deaths.
- Utah County, 523; 26 hospitalized; 5 deaths.
- Summit County, 335; 31 hospitalized; 0 deaths.
- Davis County, 243; 21 hospitalized; 2 deaths.
- Weber-Morgan, 126; 14 hospitalized; 2 death.
- Wasatch County, 122; 6 hospitalized; 1 death.
- Southwest Utah, 70; 9 hospitalized; 1 death.
- Bear River, 55; 10 hospitalized; 1 death.
- Tooele County, 41; 4 hospitalized; 0 deaths.
- San Juan County, 34; 5 hospitalized; 2 deaths.
- TriCounty (Uinta Basin), 9; 1 hospitalized; 0 deaths.
- Central Utah, 17; 1 hospitalized; 0 deaths.
- Southeast Utah, 7; 0 hospitalized; 0 deaths.
Contributing: Ashley Moser