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Community Blood Center Launches Convalescent Plasma Program for COVID-19 Patients

Premier Health First in the Nation to Treat COVID-19 Positive Patient Using Mayo Clinic Protocols

DAYTON, Ohio (April 9, 2020) – Local residents who have recovered from COVID-19 now have a unique opportunity to contribute to efforts to defeat the virus through the Community Blood Center’s new COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program, which launches on Friday.

Through this initiative, COVID-19 survivors who have documentation that they tested positive for COVID-19 and are now symptom-free for at least 14 days may be able to donate plasma.  Potential candidates must be at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in generally good health and feeling well.

“The plasma from someone who has recently been infected by COVID-19 has antibodies that may be able to fight the infection,” said Dr. James Alexander, Community Blood Center’s medical director. “The No. 1 criteria is that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been clear of all symptoms for two weeks. Their physician must determine they meet the criteria before they schedule an appointment to donate.”

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the emergency use of convalescent plasma by physicians for current patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those deemed to be at high risk. Although more research is needed in determining the effectiveness of plasma donated by those who have recovered from the virus, some evidence suggests that plasma donations can help recipients develop their own antibodies.

“People of all blood types are needed for this effort,” said Dr. Roberto Colón, system vice president of quality and safety, Premier Health. “We encourage providers in the ICU, hospitalists, and primary care providers with patients recovering from COVID-19 to follow up with their patients and make them aware of this opportunity. By donating convalescent plasma, a donor will be potentially able to save the lives of several COVID-19 patients. Because there is not an established effective treatment, this therapy will be of particular benefit to those who have more severe disease manifestations.”

Premier Health and CompuNet are providing pre-screening services for this program, with Premier Health’s foundations covering the cost, to help build a large registry of potential donors. Those wishing to donate to support the foundations in this initiative can do so here. Meanwhile, Community Blood Center is collecting, processing and distributing the plasma. Plasma will be used both for current cases at all local hospitals served by Community Blood Center, as well as stored for future use.

The Mayo Clinic confirmed that Premier Health is the first health system in the nation to enroll a COVID-19 positive patient in this therapeutic treatment using that institution’s protocols.

To learn more information about the convalescent plasma donation criteria, please visit www.premierhealth.com/COVID19plasma. For COVID-19 survivors who are interested in donating plasma, they can sign up for the convalescent plasma registry or the Community Blood Center registry at www.GivingBlood.org.

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