‘It saved my life:’ New COVID-19 treatment being tested at Brunswick hospital

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A relatively new device is now being used in the fight against COVID-19.

It’s called the Seraph 100.

Action News Jax’s Christy Turner spoke with Jerry Bull of Brunswick, Georgia, who said he spent two weeks in the hospital battling the novel coronavirus back in October.

“It saved my life. I am a living testimony,” Bull said. “When you don’t know whether you’re going to live or die, it’s an eye-opener.”

Doctors tried the treatment on him. He said he went from critical condition to back to himself in a week.

“Every day I got stronger. If I wasn’t placed on this device. I would have died,” Bull said.

Turner spoke with Bull’s doctor, Stephen Chitty with Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick.

Chitty said the machine is a filter that can clear pathogens from the bloodstream, including the COVID-19 virus.

“It’s a blood purification filter that runs sort of similarly to like a dialysis filter,” Chitty said.

He said the therapy is showing promising results in helping COVID-19 patients who are in critical condition.

Chitty said they’ve used it on more than 60 patients so far.

“We think at this point, almost half the patients have done well with it and survived and that would be better than what would be expected in this patient population,” Chitty said.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the treatment for emergency use.

Bob Ward is the president and CEO of Exthera Medical Corporation, which developed the filter.

“Many times they don’t have to be intubated. They don’t ever go on the ventilator if they get treated with Seraph early enough,” Ward said.

Ward said this could help fill a crucial gap in treatment options between moderate and extremely severe cases of COVID-19.

“the more hospitals we start up, the more lives we can save,” Ward said.

They’re working on getting the filter into hospitals in Florida.