Mercy announced they are working with local blood donation programs in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s trial of using plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat current COVID-19 patients.
The program began with Mercy Hospital St. Louis because they have their own blood donor program. They started reaching out to potential donors on April 4, gaining their first donation on April 6. Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19, be 28 days without symptoms, and then test negative.
“Our team is excited to participate and contribute to the possible treatment of COVID-19,” Dr. Emily Schindler, medical director of Mercy Blood Donor Services in St. Louis, said in a statement. “The first donor was here quickly and just as excited to do his part to help others. We look forward to providing this option to appropriate COVID patients across our health system.”
The FDA says that convalescent plasma that contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be effective in fighting the virus.
The plasma from one recovered patient can be used to help three current patients.
Eligible donors in the Springfield area are being asked to contact Community Blood Center of the Ozarks to help the program.