Plasma Needed From Recovered COVID-19 Patients

FDA encourages coronavirus recovered patients to donate plasma to expedite therapy development

blood vial for the treatment of covid-19

During this challenging time, many people are asking what they can do to contribute to the COVID-19 pandemic response. And the U.S. government has a new request.

‘As part of the all-of-America approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is encouraging those patients who have recovered from COVID-19 disease to donate plasma to help others fight this disease,’ said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn M.D.

In fact, one donation has the potential to help up to 4 patients.

This national appeal published on April 16, 2020, seeks convalescent plasma, which is an antibody-rich product made from blood donated by people who have recovered from the disease caused by the virus.

Those individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 could have an immediate impact on helping others who are severely ill.

Prior experience with respiratory viruses and data from China suggest that convalescent plasma has the potential to lessen the severity or shorten the length of illness caused by COVID-19. 

It is important that we evaluate this potential therapy in the context of clinical trials, through expanded access, as well as facilitate emergency access for individual patients, as appropriate.

Convalescent plasma can also be used to manufacture a biological product called hyperimmune globulin, which can similarly be used to treat patients with COVID-19.

The response to the agency’s recently announced national efforts to facilitate the development of and access to convalescent plasma has been tremendous. 

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More than 1,040 sites and 950 physician-investigators nationwide have signed on to participate in the Mayo Clinic-led expanded access protocol. 

A number of clinical trials are also taking place to evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma and the FDA has granted numerous single-patient emergency investigational new drug applications as well.

As this work moves forward, the key to ensuring the availability of convalescent plasma to those in greatest need is getting recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma. 

People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks can contact their local blood or plasma collection center today to schedule an appointment. 

And, the American Red Cross has also set up a website for interested donors and the FDA continues to work with others in this area to help encourage additional donations.

The FDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

COVID-19 treatment news published by CoronavirusToday.