On April 3, Joseph Jozitis was admitted to the ICU at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. Diagnosed with COVID-19, he was placed on a ventilator almost immediately. After what appeared to be a brief rally, his condition declined to the point his care team was concerned he would not survive. Desperate to save his life, his physicians turned to a last, but very new option. SNHMC had just joined a nation-wide clinical trial with the Mayo Clinic to study the effects of convalescent plasma treatment on COVID-19 patients. One of SNHMC’s first patient to have this option, it was Jozitis’ last hope.
Dr. Timothy Scherer, Chief Medical Officer at SNHMC says the treatment is still in its trial phase, but it’s showing promise. “We are able to take donated plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and developed antibodies against the illness. When we give that plasma to a patient gravely ill with COVID-19, the hope is they will be able to fight the infection more efficiently,” explains Dr. Scherer.
In Jozitis case, the treatment was seemingly effective. In the ensuing days after his transfusion, his health took a dramatic turn for the better. “Soon he was able to breathe on his own and now he can go home to his family,” says Dr. Scherer.