LONDON — The United Kingdom is preparing to collect the blood from COVID-19 survivors to investigate if convalescent plasma transfusions could improve an infected patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival.
“NHS Blood and Transplant is preparing to collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from this illness,” a spokeswoman said. “We envisage that this will be initially used in trials as a possible treatment for COVID-19.”
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“If fully approved, the trials will investigate whether convalescent plasma transfusions could improve a COVID-19 patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival,” the blood service said.
“We are working closely with the government and all relevant bodies to move through the approvals process as quickly as possible.”
People who have recovered from COVID-19 can register with the NHS if they are interested in donating plasma but they should not just turn up at blood donation centres.
B.C. health officials say quick steps taken to help protect care homes – Prince George Citizen
VICTORIA — The deaths of two more COVID-19 patients at long-term care homes in B.C. were mourned by provincial health officials Thursday, but they said lives may have been saved by the province’s quick response to the pandemic.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said measures to fight COVID-19 possibly contributed to holding the number of deaths to less than 100 at long-term care homes while other provinces recorded thousands of fatalities.
“We don’t know the specific impact of the measures, but we know the large measures that have been taken have had positive effect,” Dix said at a news conference.
He said B.C. ensured workers were able to be employed at a single care home, personal protective equipment was made available to workers, special health teams were brought in at the first signs of COVID-19 and visits were restricted at the homes.
“I think that B.C., though, can be proud of its long-term care workers,” said Dix. “We’ve adopted from the beginning a team B.C. approach to how we deal with this issue. I am, of course, saddened that we’ve lost 93 people, residents who live in long-term care.”
B.C. reported nine new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 2,558 people diagnosed with the virus. The total number of COVID-19 deaths stood at 164 people and 2,153 people have recovered from the disease.
Henry said efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes is difficult but the province has been applying the many lessons it learned in an early outbreak at North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre.
She said it was difficult to estimate how effective B.C.’s prevention measures were at the homes.
“We can only by analogy look at what happens in other places,” Henry said.
Thousands of residents at long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario have died of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, specialized health teams have been sent to fight COVID-19 outbreaks at two Metro Vancouver long-term care homes.
The Fraser Health Authority appointed a pandemic response director on Thursday at Langley Lodge, where more than 20 people have died from the virus in recent weeks.
It also sent extra staff to Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam after one resident tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19, said Dr. Martin Lavoie, Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer. The resident was placed in isolation at the lodge, he said.
“Over the past several weeks we’ve been supporting and offering guidance to Langley Lodge in different ways,” Lavoie said at a news conference.
“Today, we’re talking further action and we have appointed our own director of pandemic response to provide oversight of the COVID-19 response at Langley Lodge and also to further support the facility leadership and staff.”
The lodge website says it is a not-for-profit registered charity run by the Langley Care Society.
It says the lodge in Langley provides long-term care for adults who can no longer live safely or independently at home because of their health-care needs. The lodge includes 121 funded spaces and 14 private pay spaces.
An official at the lodge referred questions about the COVID-19 outbreak to Fraser Health.
Lavoie said the COVID-19 outbreak at the lodge has been difficult to control.
“It is our hope that these additional measures will support the site in controlling this complex outbreak,” he said. “We’re taking all the necessary steps to minimize the exposure to and transmission of COVID-19.”
Lavoie said extra nurses and staff are being called in along with infection control specialists who will use a specialized ultraviolet germ sterilization machine.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.
COVID-19 case identified at second Port Coquitlam seniors home – The Record (New Westminster)
A resident at a Port Coquitlam long-term care facility has tested positive for COVID-19, marking the third seniors care home in the Tri-Cities with at least one case of the coronavirus.
Fraser Health identified the case at Nicola Lodge Wednesday, May 27, and the resident has been put into isolation at the facility.
“This facility outbreak is a recent one. We’re still looking into it,” said Fraser Health’s top doctor, Dr. Martin Lavoie.
Fraser Health does not currently know how the virus entered the facility.
Lavoie added that Fraser Health is in the process of investigating whether anyone has been in contact with the infected resident. Meanwhile, Fraser Health SWAT teams have implemented “enhanced control measures.”
The case marks a third flare up of the novel coronavirus in a Tri-City care home and the only active case in such a facility after the Shaughnessy and Dufferin care homes had their outbreaks declared over in recent weeks.
Nicola Lodge also marks the 17th seniors homes run by Sienna Living that has identified at least one case of COVID-19, according to a tally on their website. Most are in Ontario, including the Altamont Care Community in Scarborough, one of five seniors homes singled out in a recent report by the Canadian Armed Forces, which had been sent in to aid staff.
The report, released Tuesday, details “horrific” allegations of insect infestations, aggressive resident feeding that caused choking, bleeding infections, and residents crying for help for hours across the five facilities.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford called it “the most heart-wrenching report” he’s ever read in his life, according to a report by the Canadian Press.
At Sienna Living’s Altamont Care Community, the report detailed several allegations of neglect, including residents not receiving three-meals a day, bed sores worn through ligament and tissue to the bone and dangerous errors in administering medication.
The military said it brought in its own food to make sure residents were fed.
— with files from the Canadian Press
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Two more deaths, eight cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa while local resolved rate hits new high – OttawaMatters.com
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting two more local deaths related to COVID-19, but it’s also seeing a higher resolved rate of cases than ever before.
The local death toll is now at 240.
Eight new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the community on Thursday brings Ottawa’s total to 1,930 to date. Of those, 1,544 have been resolved, putting the city’s resolved rate at 80 per cent for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Due to a lack of community testing, OPH says the overall case count could be anywhere from five to 30 times higher than what has been recorded. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches is urging anyone with even the slightest of symptoms to get tested. Residents who are asymptomatic, but would like to be tested are also welcome at the assessment centre at Brewer Arena or at one of the COVID-19 care clinics.
There are 37 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 currently in hospital and 18 outbreaks in local institutions.
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