Mayo Clinic plasma therapy trial underway, blood donors needed

Miguel Octavio
Created: April 06, 2020 10:41 PM

Health leaders are doing everything in their power to stop COVID-19 from claiming another life as the number of cases continues to rise.

"If we can help keep sick people out of the ICU or reduce the length of time, that will reduce overall pressure on the healthcare system,” said Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Michael Joyner.

Joyner leads the convalescent plasma therapy program. The process consists of using plasma from recovered patients of COVID-19.

Antibodies used for treatment could help people recover from the disease faster. The FDA announced Mayo Clinic would lead the national trial on April 3.

Blood donations are needed before samples can be screened but donors must also meet certain guidelines set by the FDA. Joyner said the criteria is quick to change.

"Our main goal over the next two weeks is to really to ramp up delivery of this product across the country and permit not only community hospitals but... research and medical centers as well,” Joyner said. 

Joyner hopes to understand how the treatment will be executed and its effectiveness against COVID-19.

Plasma therapy has been proven to have positive outcomes with other coronaviruses like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) during small studies.

Current research in China shows almost everybody creates certain levels of antibodies but Joyner said different types exist and multiple situations that alter their effectiveness with COVID-19. 

Donors could treat two to four patients, according to research.

If you’d like to donate at Mayo Clinic, click here

If you’d like to donate elsewhere, click here
 


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