Indiana University (IU) Health sent out a press release April 11 asking for patients that have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to research a potential cure.
The blood of those who have recovered from COVID-19 may contain antibodies that are able to fight and control the virus, the press release states. These antibodies can be collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and be transfused to patients who are struggling with the disease through a process called convalescent plasma infusion.
“At this point there are no vaccinations or proven medications to treat COVID-19,” said Nicolas Barros, transplant infectious diseases specialist at IU Health and assistant professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine. “The use of convalescent plasma is an investigational new treatment that could prove successful in the management of the disease.”
Given the lack of available therapeutic options for COVID-19 and the potential benefits of convalescent plasma infusions, the press release states the Food and Drug Administration has approved convalescent plasma as an investigational new drug.
Donors must be able to prove that they had COVID-19 at some point with a positive documented lab test, the release states. The patient must also be symptom free for 28 days.
It states IU Health is working with blood centers to identify eligible plasma donors and to facilitate the donations.