LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Vitalant and Covenant Health are teaming up to treat COVID-19 patients on the South Plains by using blood plasma donated from people who have recovered from COVID.
Known as convalescent plasma, this treatment uses the blood component with antibodies that could give COVID patients extra help in fighting against the virus. This treatment has been OK’d by the Food and Drug Administration and there are also new efforts to develop new convalescent plasma therapies.
Now, staff with both Covenant Health and Vitalant are trying to identify people who have recovered from the virus so they can qualify for the procedure. Staff at University Medical Center in Lubbock have also tried this treatment with three of its patients.
“By donating convalescent plasma, a donor potentially may save the lives of several COVID-19 patients”, Dr. Liz Rosenbaum, medical director for Vitalant, South, said.
Vitalant has eligibility requirements for people it is looking for.
Those include having a prior COVID diagnosis documented through a laboratory test, being symptom-free for 14 days and meeting all current FDA donor eligibility requirements.
Along with those requirements there may be some additional tests donors would have to go through.
In some cases people who have recovered from the virus may be able to donate, even if they did not have a laboratory test.
Interested donors are asked to fill out some information through the Vitalant website to start the application process. Vitalant will contact any potential donors.
“What we are looking to find out is whether antibodies in the plasma of a recovered patient will provide benefit to a patient currently sick with COVID-19,” Dr. Dennis Duriex, infectious diseasephysician with Covenant, said. “We are grateful to have Vitalant as a local resource to support this work.”