Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19
There is no approved treatment as yet for COVID-19. Scientists and doctors around the world are studying different treatment options. One of the options that has shown some promise is using plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19 – this is also called convalescent plasma.
Scientists believe that convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may contain antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). The antibody rich plasma from people who have recovered may be helpful in the treating COVID-19 disease.
Plasma from the recovered person is collected using a special machine that separates red blood cells from the plasma, selectively collecting plasma and returning red blood cells back to the donor. The process is similar to donating blood.
Convalescent plasma has been used in other infection outbreaks such as the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic. FDA has given permission to scientists and physicians to use donated convalescent plasma right now, for emergency use compassionate treatment. Scientists are collecting data from patients who have received convalescent plasma and also conducting scientific clinical trials to determine if this treatment works.
The criteria to be eligible for donation:
- The person must be at least 18 years of age
- Be in general good health, without any cold or flu symptoms
- Have had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis documented by a laboratory test
- Be fully recovered from COVID-19, with no symptoms for at least 14 days before the donation.
Houston always bands together in time of crisis and our city’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is no exception. As the numbers of recovered COVID-19 patients rise, so do the calls to give back and help newly diagnosed patients. That is why Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are proud to participate in the “emergency use” of convalescent plasma a treatment for COVID-19 patients.
If you wish to donate or learn more about COVID-19 convalescent donation, please fill out the form and someone from our team will contact you.
National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project
GULF COAST REGIONAL BLOOD CENTER