Saint Francis Healthcare System received approval from the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board to use plasma from recovered, or convalescent, COVID-19 patients for treatment with currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
When a patient has an active viral or bacterial infection, the immune system develops proteins, called antibodies, which help fight infections. People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their blood. The hypothesis is infusions of antibody-rich plasma from recovered patients should have positive effects on treating current COVID-19 patients. The plasma is infused into a patient actively battling COVID-19 and could help the patient to fight the infection and recover quicker.
“Convalescent plasma treatment, while experimental, has the potential to help seriously ill COVID patients,” says Dr. Thomas S. Diemer, chief medical officer at Saint Francis. “This approval allows another treatment option for our COVID-19 patients who require additional care.”
Saint Francis is working with the local American Red Cross chapter to identify recovered patients who meet the plasma donation criteria. If you or anyone you know have recovered from COVID-19 and would be interested in potentially being a donor, please visit the Red Cross.