Recovered COVID-19 Patients Called On to Donate Plasma

Grant Boone
May 22, 2020

"Antibodies collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 appear to be effective in targeting the virus when given to patients hospitalized with the infection" said Dr. Chris Parsons, medical director for Pardee's Center for Infectious Diseases.

As a person fights the Covid-19 virus, the body produce antibodies to attack it.

Blanchard Valley's outpatient laboratory is working in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to test for antibodies.

"We think if someone's had COVID, and they've recovered, there may be antibodies in there that may help someone else who is acutely ill".

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This interview was recorded on May 12, 2020. Until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, this convalescent plasma could improve recovery for hospital patients with severe COVID-19 infections. Data from the treatments are sent to Mayo Clinic, which is in charge of the research project. SK Chemicals has donated its bronchial asthma med Alvesco to 11 Korean hospitals including Korea University Medical Center during a clinical trial to test the drug in COVID-19 patients. "UH is at the forefront of experimental treatments including remdesivir, stem cell therapy and now convalescent plasma". Any patient who is determined eligible will be given the opportunity to participate in the clinical trial and receive the treatment if available. "So, these criteria for administering the product are contained within research protocols; one of the largest in the country is being administered by the Mayo Clinic and that's what most hospitals are participating in".

The Community Blood Center has announced coronavirus antibody testing to help identify more people to be convalescent plasma donors. Researchers will perform three pre-procedural investigations on each donor to ensure their blood is safe from other infections and to check their suitability for the process of apheresis which collects plasma. The process of receiving the plasma takes on average five to seven days.

The FDA says one plasma donation can be used to treat up to four patients. "The plasma transfusion has shown very promising, positive improvements in the health of those diagnosed with COVID-19".

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