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Houston-area woman credits recovery from COVID-19 during her delivery to blood plasma

Pregnant women who get infected are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator, the CDC said in its weekly report.
Pregnant women who get infected are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator, the CDC said in its weekly report. (Shutterstock via CNN)

HOUSTON – Kony Chacon is crediting a century-old treatment for helping her recover from COVID-19 and hold her newborn daughter at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.

In a press release from Harris Health System, convalescent plasma therapy was used on Chacon while she was being treated by doctors for COVID-19, unable to see her baby and husband for approximately 10 days.

The Houston-area woman thought it was symptoms related to her pregnancy at first, but ultimately led to a 10-day stay at the hospital.

One week before giving birth to her newborn daughter, Chacon, 22, began to develop pregnancy-like symptoms such as swollen feet, then later developed a fever and breathing problems. It got worse after the birth of her baby.

Doctors confirmed the positive test result and both Chacon’s unborn child and her husband tested negative. Her breathing led to doctors considering intubation, but opted for convalescent plasma therapy.

“Like I was, I didn’t think I would get cured,” she says. “It felt like I was drowning and would never be able to breathe. The treatment was like a miracle.”

Although the plasma therapy is still in early stages, doctors are still studying this disease-modifying therapy that allows COVID-19 patients to recover more quickly, said Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and CEO, Harris Health System.

Harris Health System and the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank have partnered up to encourage those individuals who recovered from COVID-19 to donate their convalescent plasma.


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