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Nick Tricarico, MSN, RN, CCRN

Male arm donating blood.

Full-time Senior Nurse Anesthesia Student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

April 21, 2020

My last clinical day was Sunday evening, March 8 at Pennsylvania Hospital where I came in contact with one patient, who was not suspected for COVID-19, nor did I receive any word from that hospital that I may have been exposed to any COVID-potential patients. After that shift, I had a couple days off, followed by the release of the nationwide guidelines to slow the spread by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

My symptoms began the morning of Wednesday, March 18. I woke up with a severe headache and GI upset symptoms, self-treating with Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen to treat the headache. Later that evening, I developed cold chills followed by a spiking fever of 101.4, a mild cough and congestion. Also self-treating with Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. The severity of headache increased as my fever increased. These intermittent symptoms lasted 3 days.  

Male nurse wearing scrubs.

I spoke with my family physician through tele-health video conferencing on Friday, March 20. She advised that I get tested for COVID-19. At that point, Delaware had run its first series of drive-through nasal swabbing and had a shortage of testing at the time I was prescribed. I waited until the following Monday, March 23rd to get tested.

My symptoms completely subsided on Friday, March 27. I received my results on Sunday, March 29 using a patient portal, and received a phone call from the laboratory. I was followed daily by the Delaware Division of Public Health until I was cleared (3 days fever free, 7 days symptom free) on April 3, 2020.

I followed news coverage regarding convalescent plasma treatments showing positive signs of recovery in severely-ill COVID-19 infected patients. I searched the CDC & FDA websites regarding sites near me accepting donations. I eventually coordinated with the Delmarva Blood Bank to schedule convalescent plasma donation.

Today, April 21, 2020, I donated convalescent plasma for COVID-19. The donation site took my temperature, vital signs, and intake information necessary for donation. The donation process took 45 minutes. I am eligible to donate every 7 days. 

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