Recovered COVID-19 patients in Upstate SC asked to donate plasma for possible treatment
Prisma Health says it's joined a national trial to test the effectiveness of blood plasma to treat patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19.
The study uses the plasma of recovered patients, which is administered to hospitalized patients who have the disease, officials said Wednesday in a release.
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“The immune systems of recovered patients have created the antibodies needed to clear the virus from the body," said Dr. Jeffery Edenfield, medical director of Prisma's Institute for Translational Oncology Research.
"These same antibodies can be collected from them in a process much like giving blood and then given to others who are still struggling with the disease,” he said. “We are hopeful that using the treatment will help more severely ill people recover more quickly.”
The FDA study is being led by the Mayo Clinic, officials said. Blood banks will help collect the plasma and distribute it for use in COVID-19 patients in about 100 sites across the country, including Prisma.
Prisma will work with The Blood Connection to ensure local plasma is available for South Carolinians, officials said. And the University of South Carolina will provide lab testing as needed.
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Officials are encouraging recovered patients to donate blood plasma, which could be made into convalescent serum and given to approved patients within days, officials said.
This investigational treatment has shown promise in outbreaks of similar viral respiratory infections, Edenfield said.
Prisma will send letters to fully recovered patients who have since tested negative asking them to donate plasma, but any recovered COVID-19 patient who has documentation from their physician may be eligible.
Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and wish to participate should contact The Blood Connection 864-751-1168.
Liv Osby is the health writer at The Greenville News. She can be reached at email@example.com, 864-298-4422 or @livgnews.