ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Mercy Hospital announced Monday that three patients have been treated with convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus.
The hospital contacted potential donors on April 4 and received their first donation two days later.
“The first donor arrived quickly and just as excited to do their part to help others. We look forward to providing this option to appropriate COVID-19 patients across our healthcare system, “said Mercy Director of Blood Donation Services, Dr. Emily Schindler.
The hospital has already transfused three patients, but they are still actively seeking plasma donations. Interested donors must test positive for COVID-19, be symptom free for 28 days, and then test negative for the virus.
Donor’s plasma can be used to help three people.
Recovered patient Walter Lamkin said he immediately agreed to donate when he received the call from Mercy.
“I want to do something good out of a bad situation and I hope to make more people aware of the ease of the process,” added Lamkin. other than that, it was very simple. “
Lamkin said he started having symptoms in Vail, Colorado in late February. He said he returned home in early March and tested positive at the Mercy drive-thru site in Chesterfield.
He says he felt bad the first few days after he got home, but then he felt better.
“It’s a little emotional for me because when you help someone like that, that’s what we all have to do, but I know everyone has their own life,” he said. “But I couldn’t have looked in the mirror if I said” no “‘
According to the FDA, convalescent plasma that contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may be effective in fighting the virus. Once collected, the plasma will be distributed to hospitals treating patients.
Doctors will identify eligible patients so that they can consent to treatment. Once processed, all improvements and feedback will be tracked.
In a press release, Mercy said that convalescent plasma has not yet been shown to be effective specifically in the treatment of coronavirus.
If you have not been contacted and your COVID-19 test is positive, you can contact the following agencies:
- Mercy Blood Donation Services
- Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
- The American Red Cross