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Jan 6, 2021

Orlando Quan Sr. Fights Against COVID-19

Orlando Quan Sr.

While Cervantes is quarantining and expected to recover, the situation is not so fortunate for a Belize City businessman. Orlando Quan Senior is intubated at a private medical facility in Belize City. Quan Senior is among those severe cases for which a blood transfusion is needed and treatment by convalescent plasma and platelets. His family’s recent plea for blood donations further highlights the importance of giving the gift of life. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Since Christmas Day, well-known Belize City resident Orlando Quan Senior has been hospitalized as his condition deteriorated after he contracted the deadly coronavirus earlier in December. He was intubated the day after he was admitted to the Belize Healthcare Partners COVID-19 Unit. For the past twelve days, he has been fighting for his life. His son Orlando Junior says that the family quickly realized that the virus attacks not only your lungs but other vital organs.


Orlando Quan Jr., Son of COVID-19 Victim

“My dad actually contracted the virus, I think it was around the ninth or the tenth of December and his condition was actually improving a bit, but he had an incident where he basically got wet and it triggered a double pneumonia and he was admitted on Christmas Day. They’ve managed to stabilize him, but were finding out that as soon as you fix one issue, another issue starts. We just actually learnt in this particular case that COVID-19 actually attacks more than just your lungs. It could attack your blood system, it could attack the kidneys, it could attack the liver and it could put people in an extremely critical life-threatening situations.”


The family launched an appeal on Monday for donations of O-positive blood as the older Orlando needs a blood transfusion. He also needs convalescent plasma as well as platelets to help with the clotting of the blood. And as the family would find out, the support was overwhelming from across the country.


Orlando Quan Jr.

Orlando Quan Jr.

“As the time went by, we found out that the blood was not only necessary for the transfusion, but also necessary for the platelets which basically is a part of the treatment for critical COVID-19 patients. With patients, a part of the treatment is convalescent plasma. The convalescent plasma basically comes from patients that tested COVID-positive and have recovered. But like I mentioned to everybody, even though we have exceeded the amount of blood that was required by the hospital, we are still urging people to donate because even if my dad wouldn’t pull through this ordeal. He’s clinging on to life right now as it is; he is very, very critical and we dont know what the outcome will be. But even if he doesn’t pulls through, knowing my dad, he would have been somebody that would have supported the idea to support the blood bank for other people; especially people that are critical.”


Adrian Martinez, Supervisor, Blood Bank

“The appeal is made for a specific patient; however, we do need blood and blood components all around the year.”


For some time now, the Blood Bank has been actively encouraging persons to donate blood to ensure it has a healthy reserve. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it serves an even more critical role. Medical Laboratory Technologist at the Central Medical Lab, Adrian Martinez, is supervising the Blood Bank.
Adrian Martinez

“With this COVID-19 pandemic, the Blood Bank has been very crucial, so we do provide platelets, recovered plasma from patients from COVID-19. So that is used as a therapy. However, the demand is greater because we need to appeal for the recovered patients to come in to donate blood. Our resources are limited; however, we are doing our best. We are taking donors as how they come.”


But how does that work?


Adrian Martinez

Adrian Martinez

“You have to meet the criteria of a healthy individual; that is if you pass our eligibility blood donation requirements then you would qualify. If you have been positive for COVID-19 that is recovered, we recommend you to be at least six weeks after your recovery date. From there we do our normal assessments and then you donate the blood. We fractionate the blood into products and then we harvest the plasma and then the plasma is sent to the facility that is requesting.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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