Northside Hospital - Critical need for COVID-19 survivors to help treat current patients

Critical need for COVID-19 survivors to help treat current patients

Posted on: July 08, 2020

 

As the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Georgia continues to rise, there is a renewed urgency for convalescent plasma donors to support the needs of patients fighting the coronavirus.

Northside Hospital and Atlanta Blood Services are recruiting recovered COVID-19 patients to participate in an investigational program that involves the collection of “convalescent” plasma for the treatment of certain patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is presumed that people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. Individuals who have had a diagnosis of COVID-19 or a positive antibody test, have been asymptomatic for at least 14 days and have a negative test may be eligible to donate plasma.

“So far, more than 250 COVID-19 patients have received convalescent plasma,” said Dr. H. Kent Holland, medical director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital and the Atlanta Blood Services apheresis collection facility. “Our goal is to collect 1,000 units of convalescent plasma, or more; if results do show the plasma is beneficial, we’re committed to collecting as much plasma we need to help the people throughout the country.”

Northside Hospital has a Phase II study that looks at historical data as a benchmark and will use that benchmark to compare any benefits of convalescent plasma. A subgroup of the trial also looks at health care workers who have been exposed to the coronavirus to see if convalescent plasma reduces the chance of severe infections.

“We’ve been using convalescent plasma for over 100 years; it was used the Spanish flu, polio, measles, H1NI, Ebola and SARS. There’s a lot of information about doing this and it’s very well understood,” said Dr. Holland. “There’s a lot of work still to be done to show if this will work, but historically it does.”

Qualified plasma donors must meet the following criteria:

  • Be healthy.

  • Be over the age of 18.

  • Have previously tested positive for COVID-19 or had a positive COVID-19 antibody test.

  • Have been symptom free for at least 14 days.

  • Successfully screen as a blood donor per FDA blood donation guidelines.

For more information about participating in the study or to schedule an appointment to donate plasma, call 404-477-1299 or visit atlantabloodservices.com.

Filed under: COVID-19, Latest News & Technology,

 

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