UH participating in study determining if plasma from COVID-19 survivors can help patients with serious complications

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — University Hospitals has announced it is participating in a study evaluating whether infusion of plasma donated from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 can improve the health of patients currently fighting the virus.

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According to a press release, currently there is no FDA-approved medicine that exists to treat or prevent the virus.

Those who recover from it have antibodies in their blood, and patients suffering complications from COVID-19 might improve faster if they receive plasma from those who have recovered from the disease.

“UH now adds convalescent plasma as another experimental trial available to help patients in Northeast Ohio,” said Dr. Eiran Gorodeski, an internist and cardiologist at UH Cleveland Medical Center, and co-investigator for the study along with Dr. Steven Filby, cardiologist, and Dr. Katharine Downes, pathologist.

“UH is at the forefront of experimental treatments including remdesivir, stem cell therapy and now convalescent plasma. Patients suffering from extreme complications of COVID-19 have hope at UH thanks to these options,” said Filby.

The study is being headed at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. Three sites in Ohio are participating, including UH Cleveland Medical Center.

Patients must be hospitalized with COVID-19 and be experiencing serious complications including myocardial injury to receive plasma as part of the study. Participation in the study enhances UH’s ability to get plasma quickly for patients who need it.

“Offering experimental COVID-19 convalescent plasma transfusion to our patients gives us another option to fight COVID-19. UH appreciates our partnership with the blood suppliers that are crucial to making this happen,” said Downes.

Blood donations will be collected from recovered COVID-19 patients who are determined cleared from the disease and who have developed antibodies in their plasma.

According to the release, UH is partnering with Hoxworth Blood Center and Vitalant to provide donations of convalescent plasma through this study. People interested in donating plasma for patients in need can also do so locally by contacting the American Red Cross.

For more on the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

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