Plasma from recovered coronavirus patients could be key to treat seriously ill

Dr. Kent Holland, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital and Atlanta Blood Services, in Atlanta, GA says when a person is infected with a virus like COVID-19, his body produces antibodies that can neutralize the virus. 

That’s why, for more than a century, starting with the Spanish Flu, back in 1918, doctors have been using the plasma of survivors, known as convalescent plasma, to help critically ill patients.

“We don’t know at this point if it would work against COVID-19,” Dr. Holland says. “There was a case reported out of China.  In 5 people, who were very ill, who received convalescent plasma, they were able to reverse their illness in about a week.”

Right now, there are about 5,000 Georgians who’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

Holland and his team are working with the Georgia Department of Public Health to try to set up a system, to collect plasma from coronavirus survivors and give it to newly infected people hospitalized with the virus.

Other institutes, such as the Oklahoma Blood Institute are collecting convalescent plasma samples from people who fully recovered from COVID-19.

They are also experimenting, using the plasma to treat seriously ill patients. People who want to donate, must have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, but test negative at the time of donation; as well as symptom free for the last 14 days.

Female donors can not have a history of pregnancy or show any signs of HLA tissue typing.

The Yucatan Times