Patients with severe cases of COVID-19 may find help in an unlikely source: the blood plasma of patients who have recovered from the disease.
Working with OneBlood, physicians at AdventHealth are seeking donations of plasma from patients who have recovered to help others still fighting the illness. Recovered patients who are at least 15 days out from experiencing symptoms are eligible to donate.
It’s called convalescent plasma, and the idea is that antibodies in the donated plasma will help fight the disease in patients who are suffering through it, according to a Wednesday news release.
“This is an extremely exciting development that shows promise in helping our sickest patients,” says Dr. Juliana Gaitan, who is leading the project. “We’re among the first hospitals in the country to begin offering this therapy.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is facilitating access to the COVID-19 convalescent plasma for use in patients with serious or immediately life-threatening infections.
AdventHealth is working with OneBlood to solicit donations from recovered patients across the region. OneBlood will collect the plasma, which can be collected either from whole-blood or plasma-only donors.
“We are really depending on the community for support,” Dr. Gaitan says. “As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, we expect high demand for this potentially lifesaving treatment.”
Prospective donors can get more information at oneblood.org/lp/covid-19-convalescent-plasma.stml#btndonate.