Deaconess seeks recovered COVID-19 patients for plasma donations

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 coronavirus may be able to help others who are critically ill from the virus.

Deaconess is seeking people who have recovered or are recovering from COVID-19 coronavirus, and are willing to donate blood to help patients currently sick with severe or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infection complications.

A person who has recovered from COVID-19 has antibodies in their blood plasma that may help fight 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.

The use of convalescent plasma has been around for more than 100 years. More recently, convalescent plasma had positive results when used for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and H1N1 Influenza.

“People who recover from COVID-19 do so, at least in part, because their blood contains substances called antibodies, which are capable of fighting the virus that causes the illness. It turns out that for some other diseases caused by respiratory viruses, giving people the liquid portion of blood, called plasma, obtained from those who have recovered from the virus, leads to more rapid improvement of the disease,” said Dr. David Ryon, Deaconess Pulmonary and Critical Care, and Medical Director of the new COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program. “We think that patients with COVID-19 may improve faster if they receive plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19, because that plasma may help their bodies fight the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 and is interested in donating blood plasma can contact the COVID-19 Donor Line at Deaconess at 812-426-9339 or visit deaconess.com/covidplasma.

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