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Recently Had COVID? Donate Plasma to Help to Fight the Virus

Thursday, January 07, 2021 2:49 PM

If you are wondering what you can do while waiting for a COVID-19 vaccination, here’s an idea that allows you to help researchers fight the virus.

Consider participating in the Johns Hopkins Medicine research study that is testing the effectiveness of convalescent blood plasma outpatient treatments. NorthShore, which has joined the researchers at Johns Hopkins, is recruiting people at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and people who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

Giselle Mosnaim, MD, who is leading the studies at NorthShore, provided details about the research in this Fox Chicago interview. 

"We are excited to be a part of this important research," said Giselle Mosnaim, MD, who is leading the studies at NorthShore. "These studies will give us the clinical data necessary to determine if convalescent blood plasma therapy can prevent infection and help patients recover more quickly in the early stages of the disease."

Plasma Donations

What is convalescent blood plasma?
Convalescent blood plasma therapy involves transfusing a portion of blood called plasma from people who have recovered from the virus. When separated from red and white blood cells and platelets in the blood, plasma is the yellow-tinged liquid that includes proteins called antibodies, which glom on to foreign substances such as viruses and either mark them for destruction by the immune system or disrupt a virus’ ability to multiply and grow.

Who qualifies to participate?
Infection Prevention Group - This study is for people at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. You may qualify for this study if you have been in close contact within the last 3 days (72 hours) with someone with confirmed COVID-19 AND you do not have any symptoms of COVID infection and you have not been hospitalized. This study will test whether an infusion of plasma containing antibodies from recovered people can prevent uninfected people in a high-risk situation from developing COVID-19. Antibodies are part of the body’s immune system. Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains these antibodies.

Early Treatment Group - This study is for people who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19. You may qualify for this study if, within the prior 5 days, you have had a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test (a swab of your throat or nose that finds virus) AND the sample was collected within the last 5 days, you have NOT been hospitalized AND you are still having symptoms of COVID-19. This study will test whether a transfusion of plasma that has antibodies from recovered people will be a good early treatment for other people who get COVID-19 in the future.

To learn more and see if you qualify, click here for more information.

There is also a need for plasma donations from those who have recovered from COVID to treat hospitalized patients and those who are participating in the clinical trials referenced above. Please call the blood bank at 847-570-2242 to make an appointment.