Also: Supplies from a 3-D printer, and how to #SpreadThanks to health care workers
AdventHealth, which operates 50 hospitals including one in Palm Coast and one in Daytona Beach, is offering a new treatment for COVID-19 patients, based on antibodies contained in blood plasma of patients who recently recovered from the disease.
The company also has used a 3-D printer to developed supplies to help protect health care workers. The following information was provided in press releases sent to the Observer:
Patients with severe cases of COVID-19 may find help in an unlikely source — the blood plasma of patients who’ve recovered from the disease.
It’s called convalescent plasma, and the idea is that antibodies in the donated plasma will help fight the disease in patients who are suffering through it.
“This is an extremely exciting development that shows promise in helping our sickest patients,” said Dr. Juliana Gaitan, who is leading the project. “We’re among the first hospitals in the country to begin offering this therapy.”
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is facilitating access to the COVID-19 convalescent plasma for use in patients with serious or immediately life-threatening infections.
AdventHealth is working with OneBlood to solicit donations from recovered patients across the region. OneBlood will collect the plasma, which can be collected either from whole-blood or plasma-only donors.
Recovered patients who are at least 15 days out from experiencing symptoms are eligible to donate.
“We are really depending on the community for support,” Gaitan said. “As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, we expect high demand for this potentially lifesaving treatment.”
Prospective donors can get more information here: https://www.oneblood.org/lp/covid-19-convalescent-plasma.stml#btndonate.
3-D print face shields
Hospital leaders, including those at AdventHealth, are scouring the world for masks and other protective equipment.
But Jodi Fails didn’t have to look far. She simply turned to a 3-D printer at AdventHealth and found an innovative solution that will help create thousands of face shields for clinicians.
Fails, a product development engineer manager at the AdventHealth Nicholson Center prototype lab in Celebration, usually uses the 3-D printer to create and test novel devices for clinicians and external companies – like models of a patient’s hip or tools to help physicians during surgery.
“It’s an honor to be able to assist our team members as they fight this pandemic,” Fails said. “We may not be providing direct patient care, but through the lab we can help protect our colleagues on the front lines.”
Fails began researching and found designs for face shields created by her fellow 3-D community online. Much attention has focused on the need for surgical masks, but face shields – clear, curved pieces of plastic attached to a headband — are also vital and in short supply. Fails soon created a successful prototype.
Fails and the Nicholson Center team then enlisted the help of academic and industry partners to mass-produce the equipment. Companies large and small are taking part, including Universal Orlando Resort, Cimquest, Taz 3D and Out of This World Embroidery.
Production of the face shields is currently at 1,000 a week, with a preliminary goal of 20,000. The shields are being distributed to AdventHealth hospitals across Central Florida. And if more production partners join the efforts, those numbers could go up and help more clinicians.