Sunday, September 07, 2014

NBC News airs "Saving Dr. Brantly"; interview by Matt Lauer; Brantly's recovery from Ebola was more gradual than had been reported; the role of faith

On Friday, September 5, NBC Datelines and Matt Lauer aired a one hour special “Saving Dr. Brantly” with Matt Lauer interviewing.

Dr. Kent Brantly emphasized his Christian faith in his overcoming Ebola, as well as science, where he sees no conflict.

The interview gave the details of the use of the serum, which was supposed to go to Dr. Writebot, but while it was thawing next to her body heat, literally, the decision was made to give it to Kent first because he took a sudden turn for the worse.

Brantly did shake a lot during the infusion but started to feel much better about an hour later.  The rash disappeared quickly.

Brantly was able to walk onto the rescue plane to bring him back to Atlanta, but says he was still very weak and had profuse diarrhea for about a week.  He was given heavy doses of electrolytes by iv. 

There was a day about a week after he entered CDC where the fever broke and he suddenly felt much better. 

It was still another ten days or so before his blood was clear of live virus.  Dr. Writebot was clear sooner.

Did the serum “cure” him?  Maybe not.  It seems as though the most critical aspect of treatment is continuous supportive care by iv. 

Will Brantly and Writebot now travel to Nebraska to participate in treating Dr.Rick Sacra, for whom no serum was available?  Sacra seems to be stabilizing with supportive care.  It takes about three weeks for the body with a normal immune system to subdue the virus and break symptoms. 

Once hemorrhagic symptoms start, prognosis is very poor without extensive supportive care, which is not possible in much of Africa,

One could discuss Brantly’s drive to serve Samaritan’s Purse (employment link),  

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