Convalescent Plasma Donation

plasma donationIf you're interested in being a plasma donor, click here

If you're a physician, click here

Although a COVID-19 vaccine is likely at least a year away, a promising new therapy using blood from recovered coronavirus patients is now authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.

The United States, which leads the world in confirmed cases of the disease, is turning to a therapy that dates to the late 1800's when doctors treated diphtheria with antibody-rich plasma from someone fully recovered from the disease. More recently, this same treatment showed promise in studies of patients with SARS (2003) and H1N1 influenza (2011).

Convalescent plasma, a type of passive immunity, offers a patient antibodies that are available immediately which the immune system can use to fight a virus. The Journal of the American Medical Association in March reported the dramatic improvement of five critically ill COVID-19 patients on ventilators in Shenzen, China, after receiving plasma treatments. Three were discharged eventually discharged while the others' condition stabilized.

Now you can help seriously ill COVID-19 patients. If you have recovered from the coronavirus and are at least 18 years old, and are in good health after a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of infection, you're eligible to become a plasma donor.


A single donation can treat up to four patients.


Hartford HealthCare is encouraging all recovered COVID-19 patients to consider becoming a convalescent plasma donor.


Frequently Asked Questions About Plasma Donation
FAQs from the FDA website

 

What is convalescent plasma?

  • Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection.
  • Antibodies present in convalescent plasma are proteins that might help fight the infection.

Why is convalescent plasma being investigated to treat COVID-19?

  • Convalescent plasma is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for this disease and there is some information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19.
  • Further investigation is still necessary to determine if convalescent plasma might shorten the duration of illness, reduce morbidity, or prevent death associated with COVID-19.

Is convalescent plasma safe and effective against COVID-19?

  • It is not known if convalescent plasma will be an effective treatment against COVID-19.
  • Plasma transfusions are generally safe and well-tolerated by most patients, but can cause allergic reactions and other side effects. It is also not known if patients with COVID-19 might have other types of reactions to convalescent plasma.
  • While it is not known if convalescent plasma is safe and effective against COVID-19, there is anecdotal evidence that convalescent plasma might be for some patients.
  • Because there are no approved treatments, FDA is permitting the emergency investigational use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 under the criteria of the emergency IND.

I recently recovered from COVID-19. Can I donate convalescent plasma?

  • COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood.
  • Individuals must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test and meet other laboratory criteria.
  • Individuals must have fully recovered from COVID-19, with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before donation of convalescent plasma.
  • You can get information on blood donation requirements by visiting the link below:
    https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/blood-blood-products/donating-blood-questions-and-answers

How does a donation work?

Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. In a plasma donation, blood drawn from your arm is sent through a machine that collects plasma before returning your red cells and platelets (and some saline). It takes only a few minutes longer than a standard blood donation.

Where can I make a Plasma Donation?

Convalescent plasma donation sites are available at the following locations:

  • The American Red Cross, Farmington, Conn.
  • Rhode Island Blood Center, Westerly, R.I., and Providence, R.I.

If you're interested in being a plasma donor, click here


Information for Physicians

With a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 at least a year away, U.S. researchers are now coordinating clinical trials for convalescent plasma.

Licensed physicians, however, can request the use of convalescent plasma through a single-patient Emergency Investigational New Drug (eIND), or through National Expanded Access via the Mayo Clinic IRB.

FDA Guidance

The FDA has issued guidance to provide recommendations to healthcare providers and investigators on the administration and study of investigational convalescent plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 (COVID-19 convalescent plasma) during the public health emergency. Learn more >>

Registration

Hartford HealthCare has registered its seven hospitals under the Mayo Clinic IRB to enable participation in utilizing this protocol. Learn more>>


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Learn more at hhcbehavioralhealth.org/support


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