Southern NH Medical Center (SNHMC) in Nashua is celebrating the recovery of a patient from COVID-19, after he received a new plasma treatment.
Joseph Jozitis was admitted to the ICU at Southern NH Medical Center on April 3. 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 that his medical team was concerned that he would not survive.
Desperate to save his life, physicians turned to a last, but a very new option. SNHMC had just joined a nationwide clinical trial with the Mayo Clinic to study the effects of convalescent plasma treatment on COVID-19 patients. Jozitis was one of SNHMC’s first patients to have this option and, according to a statement from the hospital, this was Jozitis’ last hope.
Dr. Timothy Scherer, chief medical officer at SNHMC says the treatment is still in the trial phase, but it is 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,” says Scherer.
In the Jozitis case, the treatment worked. In the days after the 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 Scherer.