Can the plasma of cured patients treat coronavirus?

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DENVER, Colorado – Antibodies accumulated in the plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19 can help seriously ill people fight the virus. The Food and Drug Administration authorizes transfusions despite the lack of clinical trials on the subject.

“It has, for some patients in the past, shown that it could have helped in previous outbreaks of viral infections like Ebola or SARS outbreaks,” said Dr. David Beckham, infectious disease specialist at University of Colorado hospital, adding that it is not clear how effective it is. plasma transfusions will be against COVID-19. “There are many things we do not know. In the donors themselves, everyone has different degrees or types of antibody responses. “

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“Everyone at this point is holding our breath and hoping that these treatments have helped,” he said.

UCHealth is not alone. Hospitals in a few states have launched convalescent plasma donation programs for the pandemic. UCHealth received its donations from the Colorado Children’s Hospital blood bank. Vitalant (formerly Bonfils) also began to accept donations.

Donors must have previously tested positive and confirm the results with a laboratory test. Donors must also be symptom-free for at least 14 days.

Beckham says UCHealth is developing a screening system and then referring potential donors to Vitalant. He says several other hospitals are also speeding up their processes. He hopes that the participation of other medical facilities will help to get more data to study.

“We don’t think it’s a panacea. We think it is definitely promising, “said Beckham. “In the long term, we hope it will provide us with quick therapy that can help some people while we are implementing other targeted therapies. Like antivirals, vaccines, which take much longer to develop. “

To donate convalescent plasma to the children’s hospital during the pandemic, call 720-777-3557 or email [email protected] To make an appointment with Vitalant, go to https://www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx.

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