Cleaning up the blood

We watched an old episode of "House" last night, which makes me a doctor, right? The patient had some kind of autoimmune inflammatory problem, so at one point they treated her with plasmapheresis, describing it as a way to filter out excessive ... I don't know, immuno-particle thingies in her blood. That made me wonder if anyone's using that for COVID cytokine storms.

A search for "COVID and plasmapheresis" mostly gets you stories about convalescent serum, which is finally getting going on a significant scale now that there are more recovered COVID patients worldwide.href="">This article suggests that convalescent serum might work even better if plasmapheresis were first used to strain out the excess immuno-stuff, so score one for the House screenwriters. There was a wild, wild story in my local newspaper about the 24-year-old son of a woman I know slightly. Her son came down with COVID back in March, in a sudden and catastrophic form. He seems to have been in ordinarily robust health, just unlucky enough to suffer a vicious immune over-reaction. You can read about it here if you want the gory details, but the short version is that in 3 months in an Austin hospital, where he seems to have received excellent care, he had just about everything done to him that can possibly be done to someone who ultimately survives: medically induced coma, heart-lung machine, dialysis, treatment for septic shock, treatment for a lung abscess, pneumothorax, and collapsed lung, 7 weeks of intubation, tracheostomy, and feeding tubes. One of the things they tried was convalescent serum, the first trial in that hospital. Whether that also included the "coffee filter" aspect of plasmapheresis isn't clear.

I'm also not sure whether they tried dexamethasone, either (the article mentioned "experimental drug to try and treat the cytokine storm"), but that's getting some interest lately, too. We don't hate it yet, because the Bad Man hasn't recommended it.

The New York Times is already cautioning us that it may not be all it's cracked up to be in 100% of cases, so don't start getting optimistic about COVID, the economy, or society, because the important thing is DOOM.


ymarsakar said...

dark age tech is scary

Anonymous said...

I'd be wary of any medical treatment that has a reported 100% guaranteed success rate. There's too much variation in people for any one thing to work on every person. And as a relative's professor in medical school put it, "The patient can have as many diseases as he d@mn-well pleases." So a person might go into the doc for something that gets treated, and surprise! she's got something else that's been lurking below the radar. Which tends to complicate treatment. Cure X and D comes roaring out of hiding.


bc said...

How many deaths before it’s too much, before it’s time to rethink your approach? 200,000? 1,000,000?

The conservative philosophy and action (inaction) are killing Americans every single day and all I see in this Hall of moral rectaltude is ... more of the Bring out the Dead.

See this?

What is your solution?


Ymar Sakar said...

The dead will resurrect themselves, just like near death regeneration.

This is a power beyond this world as it is not of this world.

bc said...

Zombie Apocalypse? That’s your solution?


E Hines said...

This link works better:

Trailing off LR1 and OP, I have trouble with tabloids like the NYT that have so much trouble writing an article that they have to flesh it out with fluff like that strawman argument of something not being perfect for or overly optimistic about COVID, the economy, or society. NYT's writers will just have to play with their dollies without me.

Eric Hines

ymarsakar said...

Zombie Apocalypse? That’s your solution?

Are you calling all those humans with near death experiences, zombies?

Haha. Besides, zombies already in US cities rioting.

Texan99 said...

Ima sit right here until our leaders come up with a solution to our mortality. How many people have to die until we fix this? It's like they didn't even care.

3.8MM Americans every year. That's a lot of blood on their hands.

Texan99 said...

But violent protests? Carry right on with those. That's an existential necessity.

ymarsakar said...

They do care. They can't have a Reichstag fire until people die from whatever and they seize power or are given it.

Totalitarian systems are rather interesting in an evil sense. They only exist because the people become corrupt, afraid, evil, and weak. Evil creates more evil.

In other words, people get what they want. Create fear, get a system based on fear.