In an April 2 press release, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) announced that it is working as part of a national team cooperating with an international effort – which includes Australia, the United Kingdom, the United United, China, Germany, Italy, France, Singapore, the Netherlands and South Korea – to develop a clinical trial using convalescent blood plasma.
CBS is awaiting approval from Health Canada to supply convalescent plasma, as well as Héma-Québec, to hospitals across the country.
Dana Devine, CBS chief scientist, described the trial effort in the release: “We have the expertise and the infrastructure to collect and prepare convalescent plasma for use in a clinical trial to test its safety and its effectiveness as a treatment option. The plasma will only be collected from voluntary donors who have fully recovered from the virus and will be used by Canadian physicians caring for patients with COVID-19 in the clinical trial. “
The regular eligibility criteria for CBS donors will apply to potential donors of convalescent plasma across the country, who will be contacted by the national not-for-profit organization, which is regulated by Health Canada and funded primarily by government departments. Provincial and Territorial Health.
Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood and accounts for more than half of its volume in the body. It carries proteins, cells, hormones and other substances in the blood that help fight infection, and is important for treating trauma victims in hospitals.
Antibodies produced in the body to fight viral infections remain in the system to fight any future infection with the same virus, and this is what is being explored as a possible treatment option for COVID-19 patients.
The trial is expected to take several months, according to the CBS.
The agency also reminded Canadians that regular blood donors are still in dire need of people who need blood and blood products for surgeries, cancer treatments, injury emergencies and blood disorders.
Visit here to find a donor center near you and / or to make an appointment (or call 1-888-2-DONATE [1-866-236-6283]).
To see a video with Dr. Devine, click here.