How Jefferson Health is treating loss of smell from COVID-19 

Once a month at Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health, some COVID-19 patients who have lost their sense of smell have their plasma extracted and inserted high up in their nose using a sponge, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported April 4.

Early results of the plasma treatment from patients were "promising enough" that physicians began offering it as a paid service outside of the clinical trial, but have since stopped because of  the high demand. 

While experts are unsure how effective the therapy is, there are several hypotheses as to why it may be effective, including the idea that the treatment spurs the clearance of odor molecules, which allows new molecules to attach and be detected. 

Glen D’Souza, MD, the otolaryngologist at Jefferson Health, told The Philadelphia Inquirer one thing physicians are sure of is that the procedure is safe, as patients are receiving "enriched concentrations" of substances from their own bodies.

"The idea is to take advantage of whatever the body does to heal itself," Dr. D'Souza said. 

 

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