As included in a prior release on April 10, a person who has recovered from COVID-19 typically has antibodies in their blood plasma that helped them recover from the COVID-19 virus. This plasma, known as convalescent plasma, may be given to another patient to help them fight their severe or life-threatening COVID-19 virus infection.
Deaconess was the first in the region to initiate COVID convalescent plasma therapy through the FDA’s “emergency Investigational New Drug” pathway (eIND). Now Deaconess is joining with more than 2,000 sites participating in the Mayo Clinic program nationwide. But while this is a national study, the Deaconess program still has a local focus on patients and plasma donation.
“Our research collaboration with Mayo further enhances our ability to support the treatment option of COVID convalescent plasma, while giving us better access to COVID plasma for our patients,” said Dr. David Ryon, Medical Director of the Deaconess COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program. “In addition, we will be contributing to the understanding of how COVID convalescent plasma should be used, by enlarging the overall study size to help identify clinical outcomes more accurately and quickly.”
“This week we plan to administer our third transfusion of COVID convalescent plasma,” said Ryon. “We anticipate the need for convalescent plasma to continue for at least several months, pending the development of new treatments and/or a vaccine.”
Local individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (and have now recovered) can learn more about donating their plasma at deaconess.com/covidplasma.