Americans across the nation are stepping up to help one another and fight the coronavirus that is threatening so many of us. Friends and neighbors are donating food, making essential equipment, and watching out for each other. Another possible way to help is for individuals who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma (similar to a blood donation) to help treat others currently fighting the disease.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “is taking the lead on a national effort to facilitate the development of, and access to, two investigational therapies derived from human blood. These are called convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin and are antibody-rich blood products made from blood donated by people who have recovered from the virus. The products can be administered to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. […] Based on prior experience with respiratory viruses and on data that have emerged from China, these products have the potential to lessen the severity or shorten the length of illness caused by COVID-19. The FDA is facilitating access to convalescent plasma for treating COVID-19 using multiple pathways.
|Congressman Wenstrup on Fox 19 discussing plasma donation for COVID-19 patients.
Call for Plasma Donations among Recovered COVID Patients: FDA released information calling for plasma donations among recovered COVID patients. If you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma. Because you fought the infection, your plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for your immune system to fight the virus when you were sick, so your plasma may be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. The information includes information about convalescent plasma, eligibility standards and how to donate.
As the Red Cross describes, “People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients seriously ill with COVID-19. Historically, convalescent plasma has been used as a potentially lifesaving treatment when new diseases or infections develop quickly, and no treatments or vaccines were available yet.”
The FDA “has provided information to help health care providers submit these applications to treat individual patients. The agency also is facilitating the conduct of well-controlled clinical trials at academic institutions to rigorously evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma. This will allow for a simplified process for providers that will help to ensure patient safety, while also allowing for the collection of needed information about product efficacy. In this partnership, the Mayo Clinic will serve as the lead institution for the program and the American Red Cross will help collect plasma and distribute it for use in patients across the country.”
Collecting and Distributing Blood Plasma:
Additional Resources and FAQs
National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Coordination:
Local Coverage on Convalescent Plasma: