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Family of coronavirus-stricken Indian-American dentist seek plasma

Washington, April 21 (IANS) The family of a Southern California Indian-American dentist, who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, is desperately seeking plasma to help him survive a the disease, it was reported.

Suresh Patel, who recently turned 60, began showing signs of the infection around April 5, his son-in-law Jobby John told India-West.

The infection started with a fever, and then developed into shortness of breath.

Patel was tested on April 10 and admitted to a hospital in Alhambra, California. As his symptoms worsened, he was transferred to St. John’s Providence Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

At St. John’s, Patel is being treated with an intensive form of care, known as ECMO — extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Local physician Rishi Manchanda told India-West that ECMO is “an intensive intervention in which the work of the heart and the lung are being done by a machine”.

“It is a sign of how critically ill he is,” said Manchanda.

Jobby John told India-West that the family has turned to the community to find people who have survived COVID-19 and can donate their antibody-rich plasma to help Patel survive.

The family is looking for donors who have A positive or negative or O positive or negative blood types. Donors must be COVID-19 symptom free for a minimum of two weeks, said John, noting that the American Red Cross, which collects the plasma, is recommending a minimum of 28 days, since people can be re-infected.

John told India-West the family was hopeful and noted that St. John’s effectively treated a patient with COVID-19 using ECMO.

“We have all witnessed the severity of this virus,” he said, noting that his sister, who is a doctor in New Jersey, has also tested positive.

–IANS

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