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Treatment for Pluristem COVID-19 Tried at Holy Name

The road to recovery. What does it mean for you? Freedom from illness. Resuming familiar routines. Celebrating, in person, with family and friends.

For us at Holy Name, it means returning to normal operations. You may wonder, Is the hospital safe? Yes. We are ready. Ready to partner with you and your family on all your healthcare needs.

Holy Name was the first hospital in North Jersey to complete a rigorous, deep cleaning of our 450,000 square feet of clinical and non-clinical space. We started with manual disinfection, then applied electrostatic sanitizing mist, and finally, blasted UV-C light to kill more than 30 types of pathogens—including COVID-19.

Get on the road to recovery with Holy Name, where things are different (and very clean).


New Treatment for COVID-19 Tried at Holy Name

Treatment for Pluristem COVID-19 Tried at Holy Name

Holy Name Medical Center was the first hospital in the U.S. to use Pluristem's cell-based therapy in the fight against COVID-19. The procedure, approved by the FDA, was performed on April 11 on a 49-year-old man who was critically ill. On Thursday, April 30, he was discharged from the hospital, as medical workers gathered from across the hospital to clap him out and wish him well.

Today, the therapy is used on a select group of eligible patients who are severely ill from COVID-19, based on approval from the FDA. It involves injecting cells derived from healthy-birth placentas into the arm and leg muscles of patients. The hope, and theory behind the treatment, is that the cells will modify the immune response and help heal damaged lung tissue.

This procedure is one of several advanced treatments that specialists at the Medical Center are using to help patients during the pandemic. It was made possible by Pluristem Therapeutics, a biotech company in Israel. Pluristem had announced in March that six critically ill COVID-19 patients in Israel had survived a week after receiving the placenta cells and four showed improved respiration.

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus, which are common viruses that can infect the respiratory tract. It spreads much like cold viruses, getting into the body to infect people through the eyes, nose or mouth. Health officials throughout the world are investigating how the disease originated and how to treat it, while also desperately trying to come up with a vaccine to prevent it.

Researchers have learned that people without any symptoms may be infected with COVID-19 and able to spread the virus for two weeks before showing any signs of the disease. Those who do have symptoms may experience fever, cough, diarrhea and shortness of breath. Some also have nausea, headache and severe fatigue.

COVID-19 is highly contagious, appearing to spread like the flu or the common cold. This means it can spread through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs and/or sneezes. People can also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object – such as a contaminated handrail or doorknob – that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. COVID-19 appears to be incredibly hardy, and able to live for several days on surfaces and objects.

It is important to note that 80 percent of people who are infected with COVID-19 experience no symptoms, or very mild ones, while the other 20 percent suffer moderate to severe disease.

How Do I Protect Myself?

Self-quarantine and washing your hands frequently are the best preventive steps you can take right now.

While self-isolating, be sure to try and maintain your physical and mental health as much as possible. Use the following tips to help stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub thoroughly on your hands until dry.

  • Get out in the fresh air.

  • Take frequent walks – it's an excellent way to maintain and improve your cardiovascular health as well as improve your mood. Just remember social distancing and keep 6 feet away from others.

  • Try to limit trips for essentials, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy.

  • Wear a facemask when out in public. Because people can be infected two weeks before symptoms appear, this may help to stem the spread of the virus.

What If I Become Sick?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms can sometimes be mild and begin gradually. Other patients report the onset similar to the flu – all of a sudden they are extremely fatigued with a cough, and/or fever. In severe cases, patients may develop pneumonia.

If you have symptoms and are concerned, be sure to call your primary care provider, emergency department, or urgent care center first in advance of your arrival, so that staff can guide you and respond appropriately. Do not go to any health care provider without calling first.

At-home diagnosis and treatment are possible for mild forms of COVID-19. This can be done through calls to your primary care physician or telemedicine providers, who can assess and provide guidance for treatment or next steps.

What Should I Know About Travel?

For the latest information on travel guidance and restrictions, please visit the CDC website for updates.


If you have questions or concerns, or need a provider, visit

New Jersey Department of Health Hotline: 1-800-222-1222


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Content provided here is general information that will be updated regularly. Please consult your physician for personalized guidance and care.

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