Contact: Rebecca Green
The entire blood community is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin collecting and distributing convalescent plasma (CP) - a component of blood from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.
While COVID-19 currently has no proven treatment, it is possible that CP that contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) may provide passive immunity to certain patients with severe forms of COVID-19. To give our COVID patients the best possible chance of recovery, CGH Medical Center has partnered closely with Mayo Clinic to help with the testing and research of CP.
“Convalescent plasma is similar to a blood donation that is taken from someone who has tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Eric Kuhns, CGH Family Medicine and CGH Department of Medicine Chair. “The antibodies that they have made to fight their own virus are separated out in the plasma and given to another patient. Throughout history, this technique has been used in other diseases very effectively, and it looks very promising with COVID-19 as well.”
“We’re doing things here at CGH that would otherwise be done at research hospitals, and we are seeing some early exciting results,” continued Dr. Kuhns. “It's very exciting to not only be a part of the treatment side of this study, but to also be a part of the research side, where we report back to Mayo Clinic on how our patients are doing and how they reacted to CP treatment. This is how science works, and we’re very honored to be a part of this process.”
If you or a loved one has recovered from COVID-19, and are 17 years of age or older, you can help give others a fighting chance by donating convalescent plasma:
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which was confirmed with a positive laboratory test, may be eligible to donate 28 days after complete resolution of their symptoms. They will need a note from their treating physician indicating the date of testing.
- For individuals with a confirmed diagnosis but whose symptoms completely resolved between 14 and 28 days prior, a negative follow-up COVID-19 test will be needed before donation.
- For individuals who were diagnosed but did not get a confirmatory test, blood tests may be done to confirm their blood contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 before donation.
For individuals meeting the above criteria of recovery from COVID-19, the donor center will further evaluate eligibility for donation which might include additional prescreen blood testing as well as routine donor screening. To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, donors must meet all regular blood donor requirements.
For questions, more information, or for individuals who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have since experienced a full recovery, please contact the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to determine your eligibility for plasma donation. They can be reached by calling 833-610-1025, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting www.bloodcenter.org.