MONROE, La. (Press Release) – St. Francis Medical Center announced today its participation as a site in a new expanded access program led by the Mayo Clinic providing coordinated access to investigational convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or those at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the designation on Friday, April 3.
There is currently no proven treatment for COVID-19; however, the program will explore whether or not COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP), which contains antibodies to the virus that leads to COVID-19, may provide passive immunity to certain patients with severe forms of the illness.
“Collaborating with the Mayo Clinic on this convalescent plasma expanded access program will give patients who have recovered from COVID-19 an opportunity to give back to their community and potentially help those who will contract the disease in the future,” said Dr. John Bruchhaus, Pulmonary Disease/Critical Care Medicine and Co-Director of Intensive Care at St. Francis Medical Center.
St. Francis Medical Center is working with LifeShare Blood Center which has begun collecting convalescent plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. The collected plasma will be distributed to patients at St. Francis Medical Center enrolled in the trial.
COVID-19 convalescent plasma can only be donated by someone who is otherwise eligible to donate blood. Donors must present identification and will be required to bring proof of a positive COVID-19 test result. The positive test may be by previous nasopharyngeal swab or presence of serum antibodies for SARS-CoV-2. Eligible donors must be symptom free for a minimum of 14 days. Donors who have been symptom-free for 14-27 days will need to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test. Donors that have been symptom-free for 28 or more days do not require a negative test for donation.
To learn if you qualify to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma, contact your physician so they can complete the required form indicating you are eligible. Completed forms may be emailed to email@example.com or you may carry it with you to donate. Donors may visit LifeShare.org/FAQS for more information. Primary care providers may contact Dr. John Bruchhaus at St. Francis Medical Center by calling (318) 966-4541 for assistance with this process.
For more information from the Mayo Clinic on the research study, click here.